Kashima-Jingu Shrine

The shrine that even samurai came to visit
Kashima-jingu Shrine is a shrine to the founding god of Japan’s martial arts, Take-mikazuchi. It is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kashima, and it appears in Japan’s oldest history book Nihon-Shoki, where it is said to have been built in the era of Emperor Jimmu. It holds a long history and was visited by the Fujiwara clan who held great power from the 6th to 16th centuries, and it was also visited by the Tokugawas who served as shoguns during the Edo era from generation to generation. Due to Take-mikazuchi being a god of martial arts, this shrine was highly revered by samurai. The shrine is also famous for its “Saito-sai” festival in which children about 5 years of age dance about in costumes to music, as well as the “Jinko-sai” festival in which a portable shrine is carried throughout the town, as well as the Mifune-matsuri that happens during the Chinese year of the horse (the last festival was in 2012.)

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