The One about Komagatado Hall in Taito

Asakusa is known for the Senso-ji Temple and to the right of it is Sumida Park, Sumida River and Tokyo Skytree in Sumida.

Located right near the Sumida River on a street corner is Komagatado Hall in Taito.

Which was erected back in 942 and has gone through several rebuilds, its most recent in 2003.

The exact roots of Komagatado Hall are quite unclear.

According to “Senso-ji Engi”, a book chronicling the history of Senso-ji, on the early morning of March 18th, 628, two fishermen, Hinokuma Hamanari and his brother Takenari, were fishing in the Sumida River. Suddenly sensing something, they pulled up their net to find a statue of Bodhisattva Kannon.

When Haji no Nakatomo, village headman of Asakusa, heard about this, he immediately realized that the object was a statue of the important Buddhist deity Bodhisattva Kannon. Taking vows as a Buddhist priest and re-making his home into a temple, he spent the rest of his life in devotion to Bodhisattva Kannon.

Bodhisattva Bato-kannon (a statue of Kannon with a horse’s head) is enshrined at Komagatado Hall and the Hall is only open on the 19th of each month for viewing of the the Bodhisattva Bato-kannon statue. On April 19th, the annual festival of the hall is held.

The following monument near the hall is a decree that forbids killing of nearby fish in the precinct. This was enacted back in March 1693 because the area is considered as “sacred”.

At the British Museum, one can see the woodblock print from 1893 titled “Komagata-do”.

There is also artwork such as “Morning Mist of Komagata” by Kazuhisa Iiyukai and “Komagatado Azuma-bashi” (1857) by Hiroshige.

While the original Komagatado Hall was created long ago and faced east, in 1742, the building was rebuilt and faced west. In November 2003, the current version of Komagatado Hall was erected and continues to receive many visitors from all over the world.

So, if you happen to be near Sumida Park, definitely make your way to Komagatado Hall in Taito!



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Dennis A. Amith