This shrine is of the Goddess Wakahirume-no-Mikoto, whom legend relates as being either the peaceful spirit (nigi-mitama) of the highest deity in Japan, the Sun Goddess Amaterasu-Omikami, or her sister. She is the goddess of giving birth to all that is young, dewy, and vital.
The founding of the shrine is noted in the Nihon Shoki history as being in AD 201.
In AD 806, 44 kambe (神戸) or court officials (fuko) who served shrines, were sent by the court to serve at this shrine, and it is from there that the name “Kobe” (神戸) comes.
Beginnings of overseas exchanges and the start of sake brewing
According to the Heian period work Engishiki, “when visitors from the Korean peninsula arrived in Japan, as state guests they were offered rice wine. Rice was caused to be brought from each region and within the precincts of the Ikuta shrine the head priest brewed the rice wine, presenting it to the nobles from Korea.” This is also said to be the origins of the Nada sake brand.
The forest and main hall of Ikuta were once the site of a battle in the Genpei War of 1184, and in more recent years it has suffered both natural and man-made disasters in the form of heavy flooding from the river in 1938, the World War Two air raids on Kobe in 1945, and the damage from the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995. But each time it has risen from the ashes, leading people to venerate it as the god of resurrection. At present, the forest thrives along with the great camphor tree in the middle of the city, providing an oasis for the residents.
In recent years, with the foundation of the Japan Kobe Folk Art Group, Japanese traditional culture is being introduced overseas through traditional arts and classical performances, visiting and performing in such places as Canada, Germany, Estonia, and Latvia, to work for international exchange and friendship, showing the culture of Japan, and the soul of Japan.
|Health Charm||Basic Charm: A charm to protect the bearer from illness or injury, and make for a healthy everyday life.|
|Relationships Charm||A charm for the bearer to meet their ideal partner, or for lovers to be united.|
|Warding Charm||A charm to ward off accidents and disaster and have the bearer escape calamity.|
|Traffic Safety Charm||A charm to protect the bearer from car and other vehicular accidents.|
|Victory Charm||A charm for the bearer to win contests.|
|Good Luck Charm||A charm to ameliorate bad luck and bring good luck.|
|Leg Charm||A charm for the elderly or infirm so as not to lose the use of their legs.|
|Fortune Charm||A charm to bring good fortune.|
|Children’s Charm||A charm to protect children from accidents and injuries as they run around freely.|
|Academic Charm||Exam Success Charm: A charm to improve academic ability and for the bearer to pass entrance exams to the school of his or her choice.|
|Prayer Tablet||A prayer tablet for various wishes to be granted.|