The shrine is currently known as Kameido Tenjin Shrine （亀戸天神社）and is located into the Taitō Ward of Tokyo. The shrine was built in 1666 to enshrine a statue of Sugawara no Michizane (845-903), a great scholar of the Heian period (745-1185) who served Emperor Daigo. Michizane was exiled from the capital in 901 and died in Kyūshū. He was posthumously deified as the patron saint of learning. Shrines that are dedicated to him are found all over Japan (and, now, even in Hawaii). The shrine is famous for its two taikobashi (“drum-bridges”); one was originally constructed in wood, the other in stone. The first taikobashi from the entrance of the shrine is called the “Male Bridge,” and the second, smaller taikobashi, the “Female Bridge.” Kameido Tenjin Shrine was destroyed in World War II and the bridges have since been rebuilt in ferroconcrete.
In the Edo period Kameido Tenmangū Shrine was famous for its wisteria blooms. These were referred to in the Edo period as “meter-and-a-half-long pending wisteria flowers at Kameido” or “wisteria waves at Kameido” (fujinami). As such, Kameido Tenmangū Shrine has been portrayed many times in ukiyo-e and, later, in shin-hanga and other modern Japanese printmaking movements. Hiroshige portrayed the shrine at least three other times; his successor, Hiroshige II, at least twice.
Today, Fuji Matsuri (the Wisteria Festival) still takes place from April to May at the temple every year.
- Leah Justin-Jinich