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Ana Hachimangu Shrine in Waseda is a popular shrine filled with people seeking to receive a charm on the winter solstice. Its history dates back to the time when Minamoto no Yoshiie, a famous military commander (1039-1106), made a small hill for archery shooting practice and worshipped the Hachiman god by enshrining his helmet and swords after he came back from his 1062 victory in the Former Nine Years War (Zen Kunen no Eki) in Tohoku. Afterwards, a priest called Ryosho discovered a cave on the way of erecting a monastery, and then the priest group erected a golden copper statue of Amida Nyorai in the cave. Since the Amida Nyorai had been worshipped by people as the essence of Hachiman god, people called the shrine as "Ana Hachiman." Afterwards since the shrine was erected in the northern direction of the Edo castle, the home of Tokugawa Shogunate, this shrine became the prayer offering shrine of Tokugawa Shogun families. However, the shrine facilities were totally burnt down by the bombing in March 1945 with an exception of the water basin engraved with the Hotei statue that still remains to date and is designated as a cultural property by the city of Shinjuku. (Shinjuku Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Ana Hachiman-gu Shrine is located on the other side of Waseda University across the street.

Main Entrance, Torii Gate of Ana Hachiman-gu Shrine

Yabusame was offered to Ana Hachiman Shrine by the eighth Tokugawa Shogun Yoshimue in 1728 praying god for a cure of his son from a smallpox. Since then Yabusame were offered by Tokugawa Shoguns to protect their heirs from evils. Yabusame of Ana Hachiman is held every year in October at Toyama Park near the shrine.See October Page

Koan Mon Gate

Famous charm of the shrine inscribed "Ichiyo Raifuku" (swing from the negative to the positive)

Main Hall of the shrine

"Hotei" is the fat and happy god of abundance and good health being one of the seven gods of fortune.


It is believed people do not catch cold when they dip in a hot yuzu bath on winter solstice day. Yuzu is said to be hybrid of sour mandarin and Ichang papeda and is very much aromatic.

New Year Decorations

Sheep is a zodiac animal for the year 2015

Zodiac Calendar for 2015

Compass - directions described in zodiac

Talisman metal craft works

Pickled Daikon Radish

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