Fujinami Shrine, Tosa, Shikoku, c. 1920.

1920sHistoric EventsReligiousShikoku
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“The Fujinami Shrine”, Tosa, Shikoku, c. 1920, on the grounds of Kochi Castle, with a bronze statue at its entrance of Yamauchi Katsutoyo, the founder of the Tosa Yamauchi clan. (Gift of J. Harper Brady Sr.)

“In 1805 the officials of Tosa domain had the priestly Yoshida house of Kyoto invoke the new deity Fujinami Myojin, after which they installed it in the Fujinami shrine created on the grounds of Kochi castle.

“Fujinami Myojin was the kami deification of Yamauchi Katsutoyo, the founder of the Tosa Yamauchi clan. He had lived in the tumultuous unification era and rose in status from a fatherless teenage ronin with no prospects to become the lord of the province-sized realm of Tosa.

“… The novel aspects of Fujinami shrine were its emphasis on Shinto and its vastly increased inclusion of Tosa commoners in its rituals. The Tosa domain rulers created their Fujinami shrine as part of an attempt to have people regard Katsutoyo’s time as the days when things were good because people were frugal and dutiful.

“At the core of the message was a story of Katsutoyo’s personal sacrifices and privations during the tumultuous Warring States era were the source of the peace and the well-being of all people in present-day Tosa.”

Performing the Great Peace: Political Space and Open Secrets in Tokugawa Japan, by Luke S. Roberts, 2012

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