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Posts tagged shinto

Yasukuni Hatsumode

hatsumode yasukuni jinja tokyo 2010

Year of the Tiger (2010)

Hatsumode (初詣) is the first shrine visit of the New Year in Japan. Today’s photo comes from January of 2010 when it was the Year of the Tiger. 2016 is the Year of the Monkey.


八幡神社 tokyo jinja hachiman

Hachiman Jinja (Tokyo, Japan)

Prepping for the Tenso Jinja Bon Odori

tenso jinja nishiwaseda bonodori

Tenso Jinja (Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan)

After a 20-year gap in living in Japan, we went back to live in Tokyo for a year beginning in 2009. On our first night we headed to a Bon Odori at Tenso Jinja. That was a magical night for me.

Flash forward to 2013, and I hadn’t been to Japan for over three years. I wandered into my old neighborhood to find my local shrine getting ready for its annual Bon Odori. The vibe was bittersweet as I waxed nostalgic but also realized I would be heading back to the USA before the actual event took place the following week.

Kushida Tengu

kushida tengu

天狗 @ 櫛田神社 (Fukuoka, Japan)

Nikko’s Shinkyo in the snow

nikko snow Shinkyo 神橋

Shinkyo (神橋) – Nikko, Japan

Once upon a time, only the emperor could cross this bridge. Shinkyo is part of Futarasan Shrine.

Staying in business

shinto miyajima

Miyajima priest

The key to maintaining a business for a long time, especially this one which has been going on for hundreds of years, is to extract cash for services rendered. I’m not sure how much this lady had to pay for individual treatment from the priest. However, it’s well documented that Katsu Kaishu (勝海舟), in trying to give his famous peace sword to Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社), was denied the privilege. Instead, he had to pay them to take it. I wonder if they still have it, or if they sold it to someone else.