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Nakayama is between Narita And Haneda International Airport

中山・下総・散歩道

Shinmeisha Shrine And Shimeiji Temple

the large ginkgo tree of Shinmeiji Templeblack pine trees in Shinmeisha Shrine
On the both north and south side of the railroad crossing at the east end of Onigoe Station, Shinmeisha Srine and Shinmeiji Temple stand there.
Shinmeisha Shrine is standing on the north for over 700 years with its long history. The small main building is surrounded by a tall camphor tree and the city symbolic tree of black pine trees preserved by Ichikawa city.
Shinmeiji Temple has a legend related to a samurai worrier in Muromachi period, Oguri Hangan, and preserves his statue of Fudo. A ginkgo tree standing south of the gate is explained that Oguri Hangan tied his horse Onikage to it.

Shinmeisha Shrine

Shinemsha Shrine' main hallShinmeisha Shrine

The Historical Development Of Shinmeisha Shurine

Shimeisha Shrine dedicates The Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Omikami.
According to folklores, Shinmeisha Shrine has stood at Onitaka village for 700 years. The stone monument built in the shrine in 1616, and the main building was built during Meiji Era.
There are many gods dedicated in the shrine, Dosojin (a god of ears; the travelers' guardian deity), Tenjinsama (a god of study), O-Suwa (a god of business), Yoriki-Yonaoshi(Chinse; peacekeeping) and Sengenjinja Shrine (the worshipping of Mt.Fuji) were moved from many parts of Onigoe village while rezoning in Taisho Era
Shinmei Shrine preserves a big and medium portable shrines, the big one were made in the 2600 year of the Imperial reign in 1940 by Shukei Asako at Gyotoku. Mr.Asako and Katsugoro Nakamura in Onigoe had a good friendship so Mr.Asako made it twice greater than the fees having paid. The Ujiko, the supporters, of Shinmeisha Shrine were much pleased and satisfied at his work. And the medium portable shrine was made by Sokichi and Torakichi Murata of Mikoshi makers in Hiranaga-cho, Kanda in Bunkyu 2nd (1862). In Edo period, the Edo Bakufu only allowed preserving 20 mikoshis (portable shrines) in Edo, it was very special that the medium mikoshi of Shinmeisha Shrine was built and existed in the period.
Besides, the statue of the god on the festival float is the first emperor, Jinmu.
October 4th of Showa 56th (1981)
Record of Shinmeisha Shrine
All contents above are written by the president of supporters, Fujio Yamada.

神明神社案内板による

Onigoe-san Shinmeiji Temple

the statue of Kobodaishi in Shimeiji TempleShinmeiji Temple's main hall
the introduction of Oguri Hanganthe large ginkgo tree in fall
Onitakasan Shinmeiji Temple belonging to Shingon Sect Buzan-ha is standing on the east end of Keisei Onigoe station. A small statue of Kobodaishi could be impressively seen through the small gate opening to the east. There is a tall ginkgo tree introduced 'Oguri Hangan tied his horse' on the south of the gate for over 700 years. Besides behind the statue of Kobodaishi and below the main building, there is a signpost introducing as Oguri Hangan's Apotropaic And Promotable Fudo. Shinmeiji Temple is famous for the tall ginkgo tree and the story related to Oguri Hangan.
Onigoe at Ichikawa city in Chiba prefecture (around Onigoe Station) was an area called Onigoe village in Shimousa province before Meiji era. There are several stories of giving the places name Onigoe. Some says that the name of Onigoe derives from an episode related to Yoritomo Minamoto, the first Shogun built the first samurais' government called Kamakura Bakufu. In Jisho 4th (1180), Yoritomo was on the way to the provincial capital of Shimousa province, one of his following retinue created a tanka poem, 'Sayo fukaku oni no sikokusa fumi koete yukue kototou mama no urahito' (After night advancing, having stepped over the deep weed on the cliff, we asked to a man at Mama beach.), so Onigoe named after the words 'oni' and 'koe' in this poem.
In eastern side of Onigoe village, there is Kashima kaido highway (now Kioroshi kaido highway) that runs from north to south. And there is an area called Futago-cho 1 km east of Onigoe, it was was called Futago-ura (Futago Bay) in Kamakura period and also it had small port, so the area had faced to the sea at that time. According to folklore at Monjuin Temple in Futago-cho, Nichiren the Founder of Nichiren Sect used this port to go to Kamakura from Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple. And Fujiwara Kannondo Hall famous for the one of the greatest samurai worriear, Miyamoto Musashi, introduced in the novel 'Miyamoto Musashi' written by Eiji Yoshikawa is on Kioroshi kaido highway about 2 km north-east from Onigoe. In addition, Matuo Basho, the greatest haiku poet in Edo period, had passed Kioroshi kaido highway to go to Kashima Jingu Shrine from Edo (Tokyo). Before having completed construction Tonegawa Tosen (moving the Tone river to east), Tonegawa, Watarasegawa and Arakawa river had flown to the Tokyo Bay, so these 3 large rivers had carried much water and soil there, the eastern Edo (now Koto, Edogawa, Arakawa, Sumida, Katsushika and Adachi-ku) had got floods many times in those ages. Ieyasu Tokugawa planned to change the direction of flowing of Tonegawa and Watarasegawa rivers to the east to go to the Pacific Ocean at now called Choshi City in Chiba prefecture. Then the eastern areas changed from wetlands to a granary. It means that people might generally walk on Kioroshi kaido highway to go to the north from Edo, Kamakura and other southern areas in Kanto region before the completion.
Mitsushige and Sukeshige Ogri such a samurai worrier called Oguri Hangan could pass through the area around Onigoe village to go to his land in Hitachi province (now Ibaraki prefecture) from Kamakura like Yoritomo Minamoto, Musashi Miyamoto, Nichiren and Matsuo Basho. Then the story and historical sites of Ogri Hangan has remained in Onigoe.
There was a pond called Hanganike pond about 500m south from Shinmeiji Temple. And Ogurihara Elementary School exists in the 1km east from the temple, it implies that the area around the school used to be called Ogurihara.
Nobody knows whether Ogri Hangan really had come or not, the story gives us much inspiration.
Why don't you visit Shinmeiji Temple?

The Legend Of Ogri Hangan

The Legend Of Ogri Hangan In Onigoe

According to the historical records of Shinmeiji Temple, during the reign of the 6th Muromachi Shogun, Yoshinori Ashikaga, the Kamakura Kubo who controlled Kanto region as the chief officer of the local government of Muromachi Shogunate, attacked to Oguri Hangan at his house in Inamuragasaki in Kamakura as some false charges by his vessels, Yamana and Isshiki. Oguri Hangan and his father escaped to their land in Hitach province (Ibaraki prefectuer), on the way to Hitachi, he became separated from his father.
As soon as Oguri Hnagan neared Katsushika-gun Shimousa (eastern part of Tokyo and Saitama and north- western part of Chiba prefecture), he and his favorite horse 'Onikage' got stuck in the mud as it was the dark night. They were driven into the difficult situation to survive, Oguri Hangan decided to try suicide as he was a bushi. Then he took his statue of Fudo out of his kimono wearing, and he prayed to Fudo earnestly for good fortune of his family instead of his life. Soon after he prayed, he opened his eyes, he could see his way to escape from the sever predicament lighted up in front of him. Oguri Hangan believed honestly it was the divine favor of Fudo. He put the Fudo into his kimono and jumped on Onikage's back, then he could escaped from the jaws of death.
After crossing the pond and putting the pursuer off the scent, Oguri Hangan and his followers washed them at clear spring. And he had a deep religious mind so visited a temple near him to give his thanks for helping him from the jaws of death. When he tied Onikage to the ginkgo tree beside the gate and walk to the main hall of the temple, the chief priest of it came out of it and talked about a revelation from Fudo to him, then he chanted a sutra for his fudo. Oguri Hangan then left the Fudo helping him to the priest's care, so he asked him to chant everyday for it, then he left to Hitachi province.
The statue of Fudo preserved in the main hall of Onigoe-san Shinmeiji Temple is said to be the Fudo having helped Ogri Hangan called 'Oguri Hangan Yakuyoke Shusse Fudo (Oguri Hangan's Apotropaic And Promotable Fudo) and the ginkgo tree tied to his favorite horse 'Onikage' is standing now.
Finally some says Onigoe named after Onikage, so the land Onikage jumped over (koeru).

The Legend Of Oguri Hangan

The legend of Oguri Hangan is known as a sermon 'Oguri', joruris 'Oguri Hangan' written by Monzaemon Chikamatsu and 'Oguri Hangan Kuruma Kaido' written by Bunkodo. The origine of the story was the Rebellion of Oguri in Oei 30th (1423).

The area Oguri in Hitachi province (Chikusei city in Ibaraki prefecture) was a private estate owned by Ise Jingue, and originally it was called Okuri, the sound of this land name has changed to Oguri. And Oguri clan, belonging to Hitachi Heishi family, managed the land for several generations as their family business.

Oguri clan was a samurai worriers belonging to Kyoto fuchishu who directly entered the service of the Shoguns in Kyoto at Kanto and Tohoku region in Muromachi period (1336 - 1573), then the Ogiri and Kamakura Kubo (a representative and a relative of the Shogun acting as a the leading busho in Kanto region) had a confrontational relationship. At the Revolt of Zenshu Uesgi (One of the most influential vessels to control Kanto region and one of the chief counselors of the Kamakura Kubo), the Oguri supported Uesgi and fought against Kamakura Kubo. After losing the battle, the Ogri Clan lost the most of their territory. This triggered the next battle, so the Oguri had unsatisfied at the Kubo. The Revolt Of Oguri happened at 1423. Mochiuji Ashikaga, the Kamakura Kubo,took his large troops to the Ogurijo Castle in Hitachi and attacked. Finally, Mitsushige Oguri, the 14th master of the family, committed suicide by sword (some said he had not died, he lived and became the Oguri Hangan) and his castle was fallen.
Sukeshige Oguri, the son of Mitsushige (or a younger brother) escaped to his relatives in Mikawa province (the eastern part of Aichi prefecture) from the castle with his 10 key retainers called 10 Oguri Braves. (Some says Oguri clan in Mikawa was the descendant of the Oguri from Hitachi at that time) On the way to Mikawa, Oguri Hangan and His retainers stayed in the mansion of Daizen Yokoyama, a powerful regional family in Sagami province. However, Yokayama was a gang of thieves. He attempted killing Oguri and his retainers by poisoning to rob their valuables. Yokoyama had a daughter, Terutehime, and she made love with Oguri Hnagan. To know her father's attempt, she tried to tell her lover what her father would do. She sang a song repeatedly to tell that there was poison in the alcohol on the table. But nobody found her meanings. As a result they were all killed and their dead bodies threw away.
Nontheless, Sukeshige only kept living. When he breathed in faintly, a priest, the venerable Yugyou?, found him and helped carefully.
Anyway Terudehime who had had the promise of marriage cried what her father, Daizen Yokoyama, had done to Sukeshige. She ran away from home. Then her father angered her and he robbed of all she had. She had to live without a farthing, she worked for a maidservant to live. And she believed that Sukeshige would come again.
After he recovered his strength, Oguri Hangan went back to his land Oguri, and captured his castle. He defeated Daizen Yokoyama, and he found out his betrothed Terudehime. Eventually, they got married and lived happily.

The legend of Oguri Hangan is introduced in some different plots that include some stories about his birth. And most stories about it also strongly introduced the wonder-working deity of Kumano Gongen and the medicinal benefits of hot springs specially helped Oguri Hangan's recovery.
In fact, the Oguri Clan regained the land about 20 years after the Revolt of Oguri.

Oguri Hangan (Mitsushiga and Sukeshige Oguri)

Oguri Hangan is a legendary figure. He was the master of the Ogurijo Castle in Hitachi province. The story of Oguri Hangan is modeled after Sukeshige Oguri. Some says that the father of Sukeshige, Mitsushige, is the model.

Mitsushige Oguri and Sukeshige belonged to the Oguri family in Hitachi, it was a collateral branch of Daijyo family, so their origins were Kanmu Heishi (Heishi in Bando).

Mitsushige's father had served Kamakura Kubo, but Mitsushige became a Kyoto fuchishu who directly entered the service of the Shoguns in Kyoto at Kanto and Tohoku region in Muromachi period (1336 - 1573), then the Ogiri and Kamakura Kubo (a represetitive and a relative of the Shogun acting as a the leading busho in Kanto region) had a confrontational relationship. First Mitsushige's revolt against the Kamakura Kubo Mochiuji Ashikaga succeeded, so he successfully defeated the large arms of Kubo. Next Mitsushige supported Uesgi and fought against Kamakura Kubo at the Revolt of Zenshu Uesgi, one of the most influential vessels to control Kanto region and one of the chief counselors of the Kamakura Kubo). After losing the battle, the Ogri Clan lost the most of their territory. This triggered the next battle, so the Oguri had unsatisfied at the Kubo. The Revolt Of Oguri happened at 1423. Mochiuji Ashikaga, the Kamakura Kubo took his large troops to the Ogrijo Castle in Hitachi and attacked. Finally, Mitsushige Oguri, the 14th master of the family, committed suicide by sword (some said he had not died, he lived and became the Oguri Hangan) and his castle was fallen.
Later Sukeshige Oguri, the son or a younger brother of Mitsushige distinguished himself in Yuki War in 1440 and he regained his family's estates. However, he stood in difficult position in the battle of Kyotoku, Nariuji Ashikaga, a son of Mochiuji, attacked to his castle then Sukeshige finally lost all his family estates in Oguri in Hitachi province (Chikusei city in Ibaraki prefecture). After losing the battle, he became a priest named Sotan. Sotan famed at his drawings, he was counted as the best artist at that time, so he served Shogun family in Kyoto to teach how to draw. Sotan Oguri was one of the most famous artists in Muromachi period.
By the way, some says Oguri Hangan was based on Sukeshige Oguri and others says Mitsushige was. And some also says that the descendants of the Oguri clan in Hitachi settled in Mikawa province then the clan became the Oguri in Mikawa.


参考
市川市ホームページ
神明社案内板
鬼越山神明寺案内板
市川よみうり(2012年11月10日号)
市川のむかしばなし改訂新版
筑西市観光協会ホームページ
ブリタニカ国際大百科事典
大辞泉
ウィッキペディア

Map of Shimeisha Shrine And Shinmeiji Temple

  • Shinmeisha Shrine and Shinmeiji Temple have great accessibilities from both Narita and Haneda International Airport.
  • From Narita International Airport, take Keisei-line and get off Keisei-Onigoe Sta, take minimally 45 minutes from Narita Airport. And also take JR Sobu-express line, transfer the line at Funabashi to Keisei-line, get off Keisei-Onigoe Sta.
  • From Haneda International Airport, take Keikyu-line bound to Narita, and get off Keisei-Onigoe Sta.
  • Take 2 minute walk from Keisei-Onigoe Sta.
Onigoesan Shinmeiji Temple
1-11-8 Onigoe, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-ken
Shinmeijinja Shrine
1-26-18 Onigoe, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-ken

Huge Gingko Trees on Legends

There are some huge gingko trees having some legends and stories in Ichikawa city. The National Natural Treasure Senbon Icho (the gingko tree having thousands trunks) in Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine in Yawata, Naki Icho (The Crying Gingko Tree) in Hokekyoji Temple in Nakayama and the gingko tree where Oguri Hangan stopped his horse in Shinmeiji Temple in Onigoe. Each tree has interesting story.
Why don't you visit and see those huge gingko trees?
the huge gingko tree called Senbon Icho

Senbon Icho Tree, the National Natural Treasure in Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine

Katsushika Hachimangu Shiren has some historical sceneries.
the tall gingko tree ccalled Naki Icho

Naki Icho at Hokekyoji Temple

Hokekyoji Temple has four important national properties in it. And many cherry blossoms bloom in spring.

The Landmarks Neighbor Of Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple

Nakayama Okunoin

Nakayama Oku-no-in

Nichiren had preached first time at the Oku-no-in. Later, Jonin Toki built a temple named 'Hokke-ji'. There are several ume trees blooming beautiful ume blossoms in spring silently.
Onjyu-in Temple

Onju-in Temple

Onjuin Temple is famous for the temple to deliver the Nichiren Sect's traditional style of ascetic practices. Tokugawa, Maeda and many people faithfully has believed for ages.

Higashiyama Kaii Memorial Hall

Higashiyama Kaii Memorial Hall

This small gallary has wonderful works of the great painter Kaii Higashiyama, so he lived in Nakayama.
Fujiwara Kannondo Hall

Fujiwara Kannondo Hall

Fujiwara Kannondo Hall has the legend of the great swordsman Mushashi Miyamoto, sometimes it was his hideaway.

Seikaen Garden

Seikaen Garden

A peaceful place to rest on the way to Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple is Seikaen. It has the branch office of the city hall.
Shinmei-ji Temple

Shinmeisha Shrine and Shinmeiji Temple

Shinmeisha Shrine and Shinmeiji Temple have their long history and the legend of Oguri Hangan.

Shogyo-ji Temple

Shogyoji Temple

It preserves the seated statue of Nichiren and Yosobei Kajikawa's mementoes. It also has the side story of The Forty-Seven Ronins.
Ubayama Shell Mound

Ubayama Shell Mound

This shell mound designated as the National Historic Site and was formed from middle to late Jomon period.

Ryukyosan Myoshoji Temple

Ryukyosan Myoshoji Temple

The sacred temple covered with holy cherry trees is famous for the legend of Seven Sutra Mound and Shichifukujin in Ichikawa.
Homensan Anrakuji Temple

Homensan Anrakuji Temple

The first nunnery of Nichiren Sect built by the Princess Tokiwai, the legend said ther daughter of the Emperor drifted to Ichikawa.

Takaishigami Jinja Shrine

Takaishigami Jinja Shrine

The shrine related to the battles of Konodai in Sengoku Period.
Awa Jinja Shrine

Awa Jinja Shrine

It has the legend of the young samurai Hirotsugu Satomi.

Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple

Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple

It was built in Kamakura period and visitors could enjoy seeing cherry blossoms blooming over some cultural properties in it.
cherry trees along Mamagawa river

Cherry trees along Mamagawa River

The Mama-gawa River is the very famous spot to enjoy seeing the blooming Cherry Blossoms.

cherry trees in Colton Plaza shopping mall

The Area Around Nikke Colton Plaza

Nikke Colton Plaza and some landmarks around are attractive and exciting to walk on.
Sskura in Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple

The Popular Viewing Sakura Spot / Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple

It is very popular viewing sakura spot and thousands of people visit and enjoy seeing sakura.