Suitengū (Tokyo)

Suiten-gū (水天宮), literally "Palace of the Watery Sky", or "Palace of Suiten", is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Suiten, the Japanese name of the deity of Hindu origins Varuna, one of a series of Hindu deities whose worship entered Japan together with Buddhism.[note 1]

Tokyo Suitengu 201604a.jpg
The current shrine (Rebuilt in 2016)
DeityAmenominakanushi(as Varuna
Emperor Antoku
Taira no Tokuko
Taira no Tokiko
Location2-4-1 Nihonbashi-Kakigarachō, Chūō
Tokyo 103-0014
Suitengū (Tokyo) is located in Japan
Suitengū (Tokyo)
Shown within Japan
Geographic coordinates35°41′01″N 139°47′06″E / 35.68361°N 139.78500°E / 35.68361; 139.78500Coordinates: 35°41′01″N 139°47′06″E / 35.68361°N 139.78500°E / 35.68361; 139.78500
Date established1818
Icon of Shinto.svg Glossary of Shinto

Suitengu is located in Chūō, Tokyo. It is devoted to conception and safe childbirth. In 1818 the ninth daimyō of the Kurume Domain established the Suitengu in Edo as a branch of a shrine of the same name in Kurume, Fukuoka. It was inside the grounds of the domain's mansion in the Mita district of what is now Minato, Tokyo, and the domain opened it to the public on the fifth day of every month. In 1871, the Arima family moved from Mita to Akasaka, taking the shrine with them, and in the following year they moved the shrine to its present location, on a site that had been occupied by one of the family's mansions.

When the Japanese empire enforced the Shinbutsu bunri, the official separation of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, Varuna was identified with the Japanese supreme God, Amenominakanushi.[4]

Suitengūmae Station is close to this shrine and takes its name from it. There are about twenty-five other shrines of the same name in Japan.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Varuna is one among a number of Hindu deities incorporated into Shinto, introduced into Japan together with Buddhism: Indra (Jap. Taishakuten), Agni (Katen), Yama (Emmaten), Nirrti (Rasetsuten), Vayu (Futen), Ishana (Ishanaten), Kubera (Tamonten), Brahma (Bonten), Prithvi (Chiten), Surya (Nitten), Chandra (Gatten).[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Willem Frederik Stutterheim et al (1995), Rāma-legends and Rāma-reliefs in Indonesia, ISBN 978-8170172512, pages xiv–xvi
  2. ^ S Biswas (2000), Art of Japan, Northern, ISBN 978-8172112691, page 184
  3. ^ Adrian Snodgrass (2007), The Symbolism of the Stupa, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120807815, pages 120-124, 298-300
  4. ^ "Tokyo Suitengu monogatari" 1985 Kodansha, ISBN 406202117X

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