The One about Kaichu Inari Jinja (Kaichu Inari Shrine)

Located in Shinjuku and not far from the JR Shin-Okubo Station is Kaichu Inari Jinja (Kaichu Inari Shrine).

According to the Shinjuku Convention & Visitors Bureau:

The Kaichu Inari Jinja was established back in 1553, Kaichu Inari became the local deity of Okubo.

During Kanei era (1624-1644), the government ordered “Teppougumihyakunintai (a group of a hundred soldiers with a gun)” to stay near the shrine. They called “Kaichu” “Minaataru (everyone hits his target)” as they thought it would bring them luck. Later, they started to show the shrine their ritual that they carry out before going to battle as a gift to the shrine.

Due to the fact that Teppouhyakunintai lived near the shrine, the shrine became popular and began to be called “Kaichu Inari”.

Kaichu Inari lost its assets such as traditional arms and old documents when all the buildings except for the main one were burnt down by the World War Second. The shrine has been attempting to reproduce the ritual of Teppouhyakuningumi by collecting old guns and related resources.

What was interesting about discovering Kaichu Inari Jinja is that the walk is quiet as when you walk, it’s it just in a residential and business area but its gate leads to the busy Okubo Dori area.

And you will see a lot of non-Japanese business establishments.  As Shin-Okubo is considered to be “Koreatown” in Tokyo, which started in the mid-90s and eventually flourished in the 2000’s.  But keep heading towards Okubo Dori and you will see many local residents and business owners who own shops that are Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, Filipino, Malaysian and South Asian.

But as for the Kaichu Inari Shrine, it’s a little gem with its protectors towards the front of the shrine, temple employees serving the public and for the most part, a small temple with a lot of charm in the Shin-Okubo and Okubo dori location.

If you happen to be walking towards the area, definitely give Kaichu Inari Jinja (Kaichu Inari Shrine) a visit.



Dennis A. Amith