Nitta Was Here

Hi blog.

I’ve finally been able to take advantage of my time and the weather to throw together a quick post which I was originally hoping would be last month’s miraculous fourth post instead of what could be a miraculous sole post for this month.

I’ll spare you the usual excuses, suffice to say that some of the stuff going on at work is doing my head in.

Regular readers may recall that I have posted on sites associated with a certain Nitta Yoshisada here, here and here.

Well, I have a fourth locale to add.

This comes from a bit of dumb luck last month when I really needed to get outside and so took a walk to and around Hachikokuyama one afternoon. At the end of my walk around the park I noticed that I wasn’t more than a few hundred metres from a temple on the Tokorozawa Seven Gods of Good Fortune pilgrimage, and decided to have a look. I was disappointed – the statue of the god was a very recent work and appeared to be made for tourists as much as pilgrims. However, there were a couple of shrines a hundred or so metres up the hill, and they were old.

The Suitengu Shrine had nothing special about it, and the same could almost be said about the neighbouring Hatoagmine Hachiman Shrine, except the main shrine building is one of the very few wooden buildings in Saitama which predate the Muromachi Period, and the shrine once contained a pine tree that Nitta hung his helmet on. Also, Nitta is said to have taken off his armour and placed it on a small Inari Shrine within the shrine grounds.

Unfortunately, it was getting into late afternoon and the sun was already behind the hills. The lighting would have killed any chance of getting decent photos, so I decided to wait for a better chance.

The Hatoagmine Hachiman Shrine as approached from the front entrance. (I actually came in from the side via the Suitengu Shrine)
“It’s not a real shrine unless it has lots of stairs.”
The main shrine building. Nitta stopped here to pray. Well, maybe not exactly “here”, but at the Hachiman Shrine which had been built the year prior to his arrial.
A withering pine tree (I wonder which number since the original) and a stone marker. The pine was later known a “kabutokakematsu”, hanging helmet pine.
This little shrine has no marker or sign. In fact, there are several small shrines within the grounds, most of them unmarked…
… however, the foxes are a dead giveaway that this is the Inari Shrine. This shrine is sometimes called “Yoroiinari” because Nitta placed his armour here.
Information sign, including some dubious English. (“Kids, a relative clause is not a sentence!”

It seems that Nitta also stopped off at the Hachiman Shrine in Sayama and tied his white horse to a pine there. That will be a trip for another day.

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