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Posts tagged senjafuda

Shirakawahachiman Shrine (白川八幡神社)

白川八幡神社 shirakawa hachiman jinja

Wash basin at Shirakaw Hachiman Jinja – Ogimachi, Japan

Today’s photo is from the loveliest town on the planet, Shirakawago’s Ogimachi. The stickers over the wash basin (temizubachi or 手水鉢) are known as senja fuda (千社札).

Swastika water

nezu jinja swastika nazi water

As I’ve mentioned previously, the swastika was commonplace before the Nazis. Now you don’t see it much, except in Japan where it is still usual to see the swastika represent a Buddhist temple on a map or in religious architecture like at this Shinto shrine. Today’s photo is from Nezu Jinja (根津神社) in Tokyo. I’m not sure when this particular temizu basin was created, but this Shinto shrine has been in existence for over 300 years.

Notice the senja fuda (千社札) or stickers on the posts of the covering over the temizubachi (手水鉢). These name stickers were much more common in the Edo Period than they are now, but you still see them. Shrine visitors paste or stick senjafuda on the temple gate or shrine buildings to prove that they visited that temple or shrine and to obtain good luck or good fortune.

A porch to hang out on

A cat is enjoying the shade of this temple porch in today’s photo.

Yakushido (the three larger characters on the sign, 薬師堂) literally means Hall of the Medicine Teacher. I believe this is in reference to the “Medicine Buddha” of Mahayana Buddhism.

This lovely building can be found in the complex of Gokokuji in Tokyo. Notice the paper stuck to the top of the posts on either side of the door. These are senjafuda (千社札) which I will deal with in more detail in a later entry.