Samukawa-jinja Shrine has been worshiped, enshrining the famous Guardian deity for protecting “Kan Hasshu” (eight old countries in the Kanto region in the Edo era). Although the exact period where Samukawa-jinja Shrine was founded is unknown, the ancient document “So-koku Fudoki” states that Heihaku (sacred offerings) were offered during the reign of Emperor Yuryaku about 1,600 years ago. It is thought that Samukawa-jinja Shrine has long been well known throughout the whole Kanto region.
Although the exact period when Samukawa-jinja Shrine was founded is unknown, there is the record that offerings were received in the reign of Emperor Yuryaku (456-479), and that the shrine was built in the year 727. We may therefore say that Samukawa-jinja Shrine has a 1,600 year history.
According to the oldest official record in Japan, the shinkai (ranks granted to shinto deities) Jugoige (Lower Grade Junior Fifth Rank) was awarded in the year 846. Later, the higher shinkais were further awarded, for example, Jushiige (Lower Grade Junior Fourth) in 854, Shoshiige (Lower Senior Fourth Rank) in 884, and Shoshiijo (Upper Senior Fourth Rank) in 916. According to the “Engishiki” Jinmyocho (Register of shrines in Japan) edited in 927, Samukawa-jinja Shrine was regarded as the only Myojin Taisha (the highest-ranked shrine) among thirteen shrines in Sagami Province.
Happo-yoke as one of the divine virtues of Samukawa-jinja Shrine has been well known throughout Japan from ancient times, and has been worshiped by warriors such as Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, Hojo Yoshitoki, Takeda Shingen, and the Tokugawa clan. According to legend, in the year 1569, before attacking Odawara Castle, Takeda Shingen stopped by the Samukawa-jinja Shrine in order to dedicate a helmet in prayer for victory while he was allowing his soliders to rest in a place called “Shingen Shibara.” The dedicated helmet has been preserved in Samukawa-jinja Shrine has been designated by Japan as an Important Artistic Treasure.
Since ancient times Samukawa-jinja Shrine has been well known for enshrining a unique guardian deity who presides over Happo-yoke. This deity removes evil and misfortune, invites happiness and prosperity, and bestows benefits upon the people.