Enomoto-jinja Shrine (榎本神社)
Enomoto-jinja Shrine is a local shrine of Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara City, Nara Prefecture.
Shikinai-sha (shrine listed in Engishiki laws)
The small main shrine of the Kasuga Shrine-style structure is established in the southwest corner of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine main shrine corridor.
The current enshrined deity was considered to be Sarutahiko, but it was said that it was a goddess called Princess Kose Myojin until the Middle Ages. According to documents of 1603, it says it is Sarutahiko-no-kami.
It is described in Engishiki Jinmyocho as 'Yamato Province Soekami County Kasuga-jinja Shrine' (modern Kasuga Taisha Shrine is described as 'Kasuga Saijin'), which means its original name of god is 'Kasuga-no-kami.'
It is said that the enshrined god in Enomoto-jinja Shrine is the landowner god of the area worshiped from even before the foundation of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Kasugano.
It is described as 'Kasuga-jinja Shrine' in Engishiki Jinmyocho. The first mentioning of the name of "Enomoto" is in "皇代記断簡" of 1084 as "Enomoto Myojin Mae." It was called 'Enomoto-sha' in the Edo period but was renamed as 'Shikinai Kasuga-jinja Shrine' in 1876.
For Enomoto-jinja Shrine, there is the land exchange legend as follows:
When Fujiwara-Kyo was the capital city, Takemikatsuchi-no-mikoto was enshrined in Mt. Abe in the east of Fujiwara-Kyo. When the god of Enomoto, who owned the land of the whole Kasugano area, visited Takemikatsuchi-no-mikoto of Mt. Abe, and asked to exchange the area "Please exchange my area Kasugano and your area Mt. Abe", he accepted it. However, the capital was removed to Heijo-kyo soon, and the number of worshipers for the god of Enomoto who moved to Mt. Abe decreased and became poor. God of Enomoto was troubled and asked Takemikatsuchi-no-mikoto for help and he told him to build a shrine near his (Kasuga Taisha Shrine) and live there. It is said that this is today's Enomoto-jinja Shrine.
There is another version of this story as follows, which is commonly called 'borrow land from deaf Kasuga.'
Takemikatsuchi-no-mikoto thought out a plan to set up very large god's place in the Kasugano area and said to the god of Enomoto who was a landowner that 'I want you to hand over the whole land of the mountain.'
But the god of Enomoto was nearly deaf and could not hear the part of 'of the mountain' and approved. Takemikatsuchi-no-mikoto immediately built a wall on the very large area of land which the god of Enomoto owned. When the god of Enomoto protested that it was not the deal he had agreed to, Takemikatsuchi-no-mikoto protested, saying 'you may not have heard though I said of the mountain. And as I promised, I will not elongate the tree of the precincts lower under the ground to the bottom of the mountain.
I understand you would be troubled if there was not a place to live in so please live near me.'
The god of Enomoto came to live in the nearer side of the Kasuga-taisha Shrine main shrine. It is said that this is the modern Enomoto-jinja Shrine.
In all events it means that the enshrined deity of Enomoto Shrine was regarded as the local god of this land. Up until the Meiji period, worshipers of Kasuga-taisha Shrine thought they should visit Enomoto-jinja Shrine first while beating a pillar with a fist many times (because the god of Enomoto is deaf) saying 'Kasuga-san, I have come to visit you' and go around his Hokora and then proceed to the main hall.