It is hard to believe nowadays, but the area where Shingan-ji Temple and Kitazawa Hachiman Jinja Shrine are located in a quiet residential area used to be the center of Shimokitazawa. There are no second-hand clothing stores or food shops. There are no vintage clothing stores, fashion, subculture, or theater that people today associate with Shimokitazawa. It is surprising to learn that the center of the area became just a residential area.
This phenomenon also makes sense when one considers that until the advent of the mass consumption society, the center of a village was not a place for stores and the like that controlled consumption, but a place for religion. Shingan-ji Temple is the place of honor of Hideyasu Yuki, the second son of Ieyasu Tokugawa, and Kitazawa Hachiman Jinja Shrine was the best shrine in Setagaya in the Edo period, so it must have naturally become the center of the community.
Although Kitazawa Hachiman Jinja Shrine, now surrounded by residential areas, is not very large, it was a pleasant place to visit with children playing around. As I climbed the stairs toward the shrine building, I saw a Shinto priest at the end of the approach. He was holding a sacred staff in his hand. It appeared that he had just finished purifying the car and was returning to the shrine.
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