Working Papers

Atsuta Ward of Nagoya, Japan

R. Jeffrey Blair
contact information
Aichi Gakuin University, Nagoya, Japan

http:// / ~jeffreyb / research / atsuta.html
rough machine translation ... [ Eng=>Jpn ]

abstract here

        "Atsuta is one of the wards of the city of Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Atsuta is a place that prospers as a shrine town in [sic] Atsuta Shrine. There is a headquarters of large rolling stock manufacturer Nippon Sharyo."

        Atsuta Shrine was constructed about 190 AD and dedicated to the five gods of ancient Japan. One of the three scared treasures of the Imperial Family, a sword called Kusanagi is enshrined here.

        An associate shrine (Kakkengu), eight secondary shrines, and 18 subordinates shrines are located on the ground.

        Located on the grounds of a shrine a short block east of Nish Takakura subway station is the site of Takakura Shellmounds. Many stone implements from the Yayoi period [300 BC-250 AD] were discovered here. Many small burial mounds and also the bones and teeth of horses were found here.

        Shirotori Kofun, a tumulus (burial mound) dating back to the 6th century is located just south of Shirotori Park. It is said to be the tomb of legendary warrior Prince Yamato Takeru, who according to Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters, 680) and Nihon Shoki (The Chronicles of Japan, 720) was sent out by his father Emperor Keiko to crush several rebellions after he killed his older brother. Before heading on an expedition to the east of Yamato Province (present day Nara), his aunt Princess Yamatohime-no-mikoto the founder and high priestess of Ise Shrine presented the sword called Kusanagi no tsurugi.

        He married Princess Miyazu (Oto Tachibana Hime), daughter of Prince Otoyo of the Owari clan. He led an expedition to Mount Ibuki to subdue rebels. Then on his way to Yamato got lost and died at Nobono in Ise. His soul took the form of a white swan (shirotori mean white bird) and flew back to Atsuta.

Dampu Yama Kofun

        The largest tomb in Aichi Prefecture. It dates back to the 5th or 6th century. Remains almost in its orignal key shape. Legend has it that it is the tomb of Princess Miyazu, but historians consider it to be the tomb of the Owari clan.

Seigan-ji Temple--The Nunnery

        This temple was built in 1573. Before that it was the residence of the chief priest of Atsuta Shrine and his daughter Yura Gozen (=? Fujiwara no Saneori), the mother of Minamoto_no_Yoritomo [1147-1199], the founder of the Kamakura shogunate [1192-1333]. Yoritomo was born in his mother's parents' house, an old Japanese custom.


        Kagekiyo Taira, second son of Tadakiyo lived as a hermit in the ward after the fall of his clan in 1185. In later years disease claim his sight. This shrine is dedicated to him and relief from eye diease.

Kameizan En'puku-ji Temple

        A Buddhist priest named Gen'a of the Jishu sect built this temple in 1319. In 1432 Ashikaga Yoshinori [1394-1441], who by lottery became the 6th Ashikaga Shogun in 1428, stopped by for three days on his way to visit Mr. Fuji and held a ren'ga party.

        Built in 1525 by Imagawa Ujichika. Taken and abandon by Oda Nobunage [1534-1582]. Rebuilt from 1610-1612 by order of Tokugawa Ieyasu [1543-1616]. It became the home of the Owari clan of the Tokugawa family.


        Horikawa is said to have been constructed by Fukushima Masanori in 1610 to transport timber and stones for the construction of Nagoya Castle.

        A large pond, now the site of Nagoya Gakuin University, was used a a base for warships on the Owari clan. It became a lumber yard, then the site for the 1989 Design Expo.

        Nagoya International Congress Center and Shirotori Gardens.

        Shin Horikawa runs along the eastern and southern boundries of the ward until it runs into Horikawa.

Roads and Stations

        Old Tokaido Road went through Atsuta ward just south of Tenmacho and down to the intersection of Horikawa and Shin Horikawa.

        Route 1 goes through Rokubancho and Tenmacho.

        Route 19/247

        Tokaido Main Line runs through the ward. Kamayama Station lies just outside of the ward. Atsuta Station is inside.

        Nagoya Line of Nagoya Railroad runs through the ward. The old Kanayama (Bashi) station was in the ward Jingu Mae still is.

        Subway forks into the Meiko Line and the Meijo Line at Kanayama. Both run through the ward. The Meiko Line has Hibino and Rokubancho, while the Meijo Line (now a loop) has Nishi Takakura, Jungo Nishi, and Tenmacho.

        The Tokaido Shinkansen runs along the western boundry, cuts across the southwestern corner of the ward through Rokubancho, but does not stop.

Seidaihi-ji Temple

        Head temple of the Nyorai sect of Buddhism. This nunnery was established by a woman named Kino.

Takakura Musubimiko Shrine

        Dedicated to Prince Takakuraji the original god of the Owari clan. Ho-ji-ji Temple Unshin-ji Temple Sumiyoshi Shrine Kanayama Shrine Hatanaka Jizo Yosamu no Sato Monument Shun'yo-ji Temple Jo-fuku-ji Temple Hon'on-ji Temple Shotoku-ji Temple Uchidabashi Park Joya To- (Lamp Light) Toki no Kane (Time Bell) Suzuki Abacus Museum Rei no Mimae Sha Saidan-bashi Bridge Dodoitsu Monument (Japanese ditty) Zo-fuku-ji Temple Matsugo-sha Shimizu-sha Kagura-den Nobunaga-bei Wall Higashi Yaoyorozu Shrine Nishi Yaoyorozu Shrine Temizu-sha Nijugo-cho-bashi Bridge Kusunomimae-sha Seisetsu Mon (Gate) Hakken-gu Shrine

Kamichikama Shrine


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        I would like to express my sincere thanks to Rik Smoody for valuable critical comments on earlier drafts. Not all of the advice received was necessarily heeded, however, and I retain full responsibility for the final product.

Points of Contact

        Any comments on this article will be welcomed and should be mailed to the author at Aichi Gakuin University, Junior College Division, 1-100 Kusumoto-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Japan 456-0037 or e-mailed to him. Other papers and works in progress may be accessed at http:// ~jeffreyb/ research/ index.html .


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Working Papers