the shrine where festive events of
the Hattori clan were held
The Aekuni-jinja Shrine, located at the foot of Mt. Nangu-san, is said to have been built in 658. The ""Shishi-mai (lion dance) of Aekuni-jinja Shrine,"" which greatly influenced the Shishi- Kagura (Shinto lion dance) that widely spread in the Iga region, is designated as a prefectural intangible folk cultural property.
The shrine festival called ""Kurondo Matsuri"" is said to have been a private festival of the Hattori clan (the chieftain of the ninja that later produced Hattori Hanzo). Although the origin of the festival is unknown, members taking part in the ritual were dressed in black and limited to those of the Hattori clan.
The Aekuni-jinja Shrine was temporarily devastated after Oda Nobunaga burned it down during the Tensho Iga War of 1581, however, the shrine was restored by Kotengu Seizo, a practitioner of the Shugendo religion, and Todo Takatora, the first lord of the Todo clan. Shugendo influenced ninja skills, and the Todo clan employed Iga ninja called "Shinobi-no-shu (ninja members)".
- 10 minutes’ drive from Sanagu Sta. on the JR Kansai Line
- 877 Ichinomiya, Iga City