Also known as “O-inari-san,” Inari shrines are the most familiar shrines to Japanese people. There are said to be some thirty thousand throughout the country, frequented by people of all ages. Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine with which all the others are affiliated. In the 1300 years since its establishment in 711AD. People have gathered here to pray for bountiful harvests. Business prosperity, the safety of their home and family, and the fulfillment of all kinds of other wishes. In recent years, the shrine’s Japanese worshippers have been joined by overseas visitors to pray or tour the shrine. Fushimi Inari Taisha is now known worldwide. It is one of the most iconic sights in Kyoto and in Japan as a whole.
The origin of Fushimi Inari Taisha is described in Yamashirokoku Fudoki. An ancient report on local culture, geography, and oral tradition presented to the emperor. Irogu no Hatanokimi, an ancestor of Hatanonakatsue no Imiki, has shot a rice cake, which turned into a swan and flew away. Eventually, the swan landed on a mountain peak, where an auspicious omen occurred, and rice grew. Inari is named for this miracle (“ina” is Japanese for “rice”). It has also been described in other ancient texts. Which state that priests such as Hatauji have held spring and autumn festivals at the shrine ever since the deity Inari Okami. Was enshrined on a plateau in the Inari Mitsugamine area during the Wado era (708-715).
An ancient shrine text also says that Irogu no Hatanokimi. A respected figure in the Fukakusa area of Kyoto. Received an imperial order from Empress Genmei to enshrine three deities in three mountains on the First Day of the Horse of the second month of 711. That year, the farmers were blessed with plentiful harvests of grains and much silk from their silkworms. This shows that Fushimi Inari Taisha and the Fukakusa area are closely connected to Hatauji. And that this deity has been enshrined since the first Day of the Horse in the second month of 711. But there is reason to believe that our faith dates back even further than this.