“Hoso” is the Japanese word for smallpox, an infectious disease that was eradicated in the 20th century. Outbreaks of smallpox were common in the Edo Period. Hoso-jinja Shrine is located in Tsukaba Area in Uenohara and was built with the hope of preventing smallpox from coming to Uenohara Village.
An elderly woman on a visit to several regions during the early Edo Period fell ill in the Tsukaba Area. Local villagers took very good care of her. Despite this, however, the woman succumbed to her illness and died. Before passing, she thanked them for their efforts and said that worshipping the smallpox god would protect the village from disease. The villages went to Hoso-jinja Shrine at Yunoo Pass (present-day Minami-Echizen in Fukui Prefecture), where the elderly woman was from and where the smallpox god was enshrined. They received the divided spirit of the god from the shrine and founded Hoso-jinja Shrine in the Tsukaba Area in 1661.
A small wooden statue of the woman, called Gramma Hoso, is enshrined here. (It is only open to the public for viewing on special occasions.)


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