Gokogu-jinja Shrine (御香宮神社)

Gokogu-jinja Shrine (it is also pronounced Gokonomiya-jinja Shrine) is a Shinto shrine located in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City. It was ranked as a Fusha (prefectural shrine) under the old shrine classification system. The shrine is commonly known Gokonomiya. It is the local shrine of the Fushimi area.

The main deity is the Empress Shinko who is enshrined alongside her husband, the Emperor Chuai, and her son, the Emperor Ojin. Legend has it that Empress Shinko is the goddess of smooth childbirth.

At the shrine office is a garden that is thought to have originally been that created by Enshu KOBORI at the Fushimi magistrate's office and relocated to its current site.

History

The circumstances of the shrine's founding are unclear but there are records of the shrine buildings being renovated in the year 862. According to legend, it was in this year that a fragrant spring gushed from the shrine grounds and that drinking the water could cure diseases, which led the Emperor Seiwa to grant the shrine the name 'Gokogu' (lit. Fragrant Shrine).

When Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI finished constructing Fushimi-jo Castle, he moved the shrine onto the castle grounds to serve as a guardian shrine. It was later returned to its original site by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA who also built the main hall. The Omote-mon gate is believed to have originally been the Ote-mon gate that stood at Fushimi-jo Castle.

During the Battle of Toba Fushimi in 1868, the shrine served as the imperial army (Satsuma Domain) headquarters in Fushimi-cho but the shrine buildings were undamaged.

In the Showa period, part of the shrine precinct was turned over to the widening construction of National Highway 24 which is running right east of the temple.

Gokosui

Although the spring, known as Ishii-no-Gokosui, from which the name of the shrine is derived, was venerated by many people, it dried up during the Meiji period. In spring of 1982, the spring was restored when it was excavated from a different location. In 1985 it was certified one of the 100 greatest springs by the Ministry of the Environment. It is also deeply related to the local Fushimi industry of rice wine production.

Cultural properties

Important Cultural Properties

Main hall: Constructed by the order of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA and repaired in 1990 when its richly colored carvings were restored

Worship hall: This divided worship hall was constructed in 1625 using funds donated by Yorinobe TOKUGAWA and the richly colored carvings on the undulating bargeboard are based on the Chinese legend of a carp passing through a gate to become a dragon

Omote-mon gate (formerly the Ote-mon gate of Fushimi-jo Castle): Constructed in 1622 using funds donated by Yorifusa TOKUGAWA and has frog-leg struts representing the Chinese Twenty-four Filial Exemplars

Tachi sword decorated with a gold paste: Believed to have been forged by Nagamitsu BIZEN

Other

Wooden mathematical puzzle tablet: Dedicated by Tengyokusai NISHIOKA in 1863 and kept in the Ema-do hall.

Wooden mathematical puzzle tablet: Dedicated by Munenobu YAMAMOTO in 1683 and kept in the Ema-do hall, with the tablet containing the solution kept at Yasaka-jinja Shrine.

Precinct

Main hall
Worship hall
Omote-mon gate
Ema-do hall
Noh stage
Garden
Auxiliary Shrines
Benten-sha Shrine
Matsunoo-sha Shrine
Gokosui

Access

Walk from Kintetsu Momoyamagoryo-mae Station, Keihan Fushimi Momoyama Station or JR Nara Line Momoyama Station. Take the Kyoto City Bus to "Gokogu-mae" bus stop.