There was a mosquito coil on the stairs of Tsumagoi Jinja Shrine

Mosquito coils at Tsumagoi Shrine
Shot at Tsumagoi Jinja in Yushima, Tokyo
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I was walking along Yushima in Tokyo towards Yushima Tenjin. When I turned my eyes to a side street, I saw a torii gate standing along a stone wall. There seemed to be a Shinto shrine. Curious about what kind of shrine it was, I changed my path and headed for the gate.

Climbing up the stairs, where mosquito coils had been placed along the way, I found the shrine grounds, with shrines and halls of worship crammed together. The shrine was called Tsumagoi. Tsumagoi means a couple's love and affection for one another. It sounded like a nice shrine.

The precincts were very small. The shrine was so small that there was not even a place to wander around the grounds. However, the history of the shrine is correct. It is said that Yamato Takeru, on his way back from an expedition to the northeast ordered by his father, Emperor Keiko, lamented the death of his wife Ototachibana Hime, who had thrown herself into the sea to appease the sea god and save the group, while looking out at the sea from this place, saying, "I miss my wife".

It's a romantic story. Unfortunately, when I looked around at Tsumagoi Shrine, I could not see the sea anywhere. Before the Edo period, the area to the east of Yushima on the edge of the Hongo plateau used to be the sea, but the coastline moved far away from here a long time ago. Nowadays, it is impossible to look at the sea and think about it in the same way as Yamato Takeru.

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Shooting Date

Sep 2020

Posted On

May 22, 2021

Modified On

November 10, 2021


Yushima, Tokyo


Still Life Photography



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