Sasaki-jinja Shrine (沙沙貴神社)

Sasaki-jinja Shrine stands at Azuchi-cho, Gamo County, Shiga Prefecture. It is Shikinai-sha (shrine listed in Engishiki laws) and its old classification of shrine has been prefectural shrine (of prefectures other than Kyoto and Osaka).

It enshrines Sukunahikona no Mikoto as shusaijin (main enshrined deities) as well as five gods and four places in total, and is collectively called 'Sasaki Daimyojin God'. It is the ujigami (a guardian god or spirit of a particular place in the Shinto religion) for Sasaki-Genji (Minamoto clan), sitting in the place where the Sasaki family derived.

Legend says it had originally enshrined Sukunabikona no kami in the mythological age, Sasakiyamagimi worshiped Obiko no Mikoto in the ancient times, and then Emperor Keiko constructed a large scale of a sanctuary at the transfer of the capital to Shigatakaanahomiya. Later, Emperor Uda as well as the Imperial Prince Atsumi, who was the son of Emperor Uda, and the founder of Uda-Genji (Minamoto clan) were worshipped by Uda-Genji, and subsequently they were venerated by their descendants as ujigami for Sasaki-Genji. The descendants included Doyo SASAKI who was Basara daimyo, Takaaki KYOGOKU who was the lord of Marugame Domain and revived the main building of a Shinto shrine disappeared at Tenpo era of the Edo period, and Maresuke NOGI who was famous for the battle for 203 kouchi in the Russo-Japanese War. It has been still devoutly worshipped by the descendants of Uda-Genji as well as Sasaki-Genji (including about 220 clans such as, the Sasaki clan, the Rokkaku clan, the Kyogoku clan, the Kutsuki clan, the Kuroda clan, the Mabuchi clan, the Horibe clan, the Aoike clan, the Manase clan, the Morikawa clan, the Mitsui family).

The Enshrined Deities in Honden (main shrine)
Sasaki Daimyojin God
The first place: Sukunabikona no Mikoto
Soshin (ancestor honored as god), Ubusunagami (guardian deity of one's birthplace)
The second place: Obiko no Mikoto
The soshin of Sasakiyamagimi in ancient times, Shido-shogun (Generals Dispatched to Four Circuits)
The third place: Emperor Nintoku (Osazaki no Mikoto)
The deities connected to Sasaki
The forth place: Emperor Uda, Imperial Prince Atsumi
Soshin of Uda-Genji, Sasaki-Genji, Omi-Genji (Minamoto clan)

Precincts of the shrine
The premises measure 7000 tsubo (a unit of land measurement; 3.95 square yards; 3.31 square meters). The eight buildings, that is honden, sukibei (transparent fence), chumon (inner gate), gonden (associate shrine), haiden (a hall of worship), romon (two-storied gate), the east kairo (cloister), the west kairo were built in the Heian and Kamakura period style in the Edo period. They are all tangible cultural assets designated by Shiga Prefecture.

Built in the middle of the Edo period in the Heian period style, made by ditch reed, two-layered gate
Haiden (a hall of worship)
Built in the late Edo period (in 1848), both the ketayuki (distance spanned by the longitudinal purlins or plates of the main frame) and the length of a crossbeam measure san-gen (approximately 5.4 meters), square shaped, by Genjiro Toshio MIZUHARA, a carpenter.
Honden (main shrine)
Built in the late Edo period (in 1848) in gokensha-zukuri (a style of main shrine building that has a small five-bay sanctuary), kohaisangen, copper roofing, by Genjiro Toshio MIZUHARA, a carpenter.
Built in the late Edo period (in 1848) by Genjiro Toshio MIZUHARA, a carpenter.
East-to-West corridor
Built in the late Edo period (in 1848) by Genjiro Toshio MIZUHARA, a carpenter.
Iwasaka (the area a deity sits)
Enshrines Sukunabikona no Mikoto, Sasakiyamagimi.
The Garden of Dongetsu
Created by Soeki KATSUMOTO.
The Garden of Senjo
Created by Tomomi NAKAJIMA.
The Garden of Pebbles
A natural monument

Omigenji-sai Festival (October)

A 10 minutes walk from Azuchi Station of JR Biwako Line

[Original Japanese]