略記 - Brief History

創建 (Foundation)

明治31年11月3日 (November 3, 1898)

(旧天長節・明治節、文化の日 - the Emperor's Birthday in those days, Culture Day)

日本国外最古の神社 (Oldest Jinja Outside of Japan)


Hilo Daijingu (Old Yamato Jinja) was established on November 3, 1898 (the Emperor's Birthday in those days) as the first Shinto shrine outside of Japan at Piopio Street, near the present King Kamehameha I Statue, Old Shinmachi district, by Rev. Kakuta Koshi, an immigrant from Kumamoto.


The local Japanese newspaper wrote; "All Kami in Japan migrant to Hawaii - Amaterasu Okami, Hachimangu, the soul of Lord Kato Kiyomasa and others." Amaterasu Okami was well-known as total protector of Japanese, and the other two Kami are famous Kami in Kyushu Island, there is Usa Hachimangu in Oita Prefecture and Lord Kato was the Lord of Kumamoto. It means there was the symbol of all Japanese immigrants for feeling the tie with their own birthplace Kami.

大正7年11月3日当時のヒロ大神宮 Old Hilo Daijingu (11/03/1918)

ヒロ大神宮の最盛期 (The Golden Age)


Rev. Jikko Koshi, the second Guji, moved the shrine two times because the land was leased. It was finally moved to Manono Street, Old Yashijima district near the Wailoa river. 


Hilo Daijingu had some branch shrines and religious associations in all parts of this island in those days and many confraternities such as the women's, the young men's and the young girls' associations.

二代目宮司 合志実行 (Rev. Jikko Koshi, the second Guji)

日米開戦による活動停止 (Layoff by Japan-U.S. War)


The Japan-U.S. war was outbreak in December 7, 1941 by the Pearl Harbor attack. Rev. Isamu Kudo, the third Guji, who took over a year prior and Rev. Koshi's son-in-law, was arrested detained; However he took over a year before. He went back to Japan by a captive repatriation ship and never returned.


Properties were forfeited by the U.S. Army and was not able to be active for approximately 15 years until it was returned as last Shinto shrine in Hawaii in 1955 and Rev. Chonosuke Kanno, the fourth (temporary) Guji, took over and restarted the activity.

三代目宮司 工藤勇 (Rev. Isamu Kudo, the third Guji)

大津波からの復興 (Reconstruction from the Tsunami)


Rev. Akio Miyazaki, the fifth Guji, was invited from Japan and took over in 1959. Although it was expected to become more active, the shrine was washed away by the tsunami of the earthquake in Chile that struck Hilo in May 23, 1960.


Hilo Daijingu was then moved to Old Ishizuchi Jinja in Onomea Camp for approximately 3 years. Hilo Daijingu moved and rebuilt in the present location because the stricken area became to a state park. Members did volunteer work every Saturday and Sunday. The shrine (the main sanctuary and the worship hall) was completed in 1966, the hall (Naorai-den or Activity Center) was completed in 1970. The grand completion ceremony was performed with attending of Rev. Muneyoshi Tokugawa, Daiguji (the great chief priest) of Ise Jingu.


There were a lot of Shinto shrines on this island, but all are already extinct. Today Hilo Daijingu is known as the total guardian Kami of this island.


Rev. Daizo Watanabe, the sixth Guji, took over in 1999. The centennial of the foundation was held in 2000.


Rev. Naohiro Hotta, presently the seventh Guji, took over in 2013.

歴代宮司 (Former Ministers)


合志覚太 (Rev. Kakuta Kōshi, the first Gūji/founder)

在任期間: 1898 - 1902

出身地: 熊本県 (Kumamoto)

二代目 合志実行(実男) (Rev. Jikkō [Jitsuo] Kōshi, the second Gūji)

在任期間: 1902 - 1940

出身地: 熊本県 (Kumamoto)

三代目 工藤 勇 (Rev. Isamu Kudō, the third Gūji)

在任期間: 1940 - 1941

出身地: 熊本県 (Kumamoto)

四代目 菅野長之助 (Rev. Chōnosuke Kan'no, the fourth Gūji)

在任期間: 1955-1958

出身地: 福島県伊達郡 (Date, Fukushima)

五代目 宮崎昭和 (Rev. Akio Miyazaki, the fifth Gūji)

在任期間: 1959 - 1999

出身地: 北海道室蘭市 (Muroran, Hokkaidō)

六代目 渡邊大蔵 (Rev. Daizō Watanabe, the sixth Gūji)

在任期間: 1999 - 2013

出身地: 新潟県燕市 (Tsubame, Niigata)

七代目 堀田尚宏 (Rev. Naohiro Hotta, the seventh Gūji)

在任期間: 2013 - 現在 (present)

出身地: 岐阜県養老郡 (Yōrō, Gifu)