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Posts tagged shimenawa

Morning prayer at Kushida Jinja

japanese woman at shrine


During the first half of July this shrine is the center of one of the most famous festivals in Japan (Hakata Gion Yamakasa or 博多祇園山笠). Someday I want to be in Fukuoka to witness this event. I saw preparations being made and video of past festivals. It looks absolutely crazy. Groups of men representing different parts of town race with an extremely heavy float on their shoulders around tight turns and for fairly long distances. Trip near the front of the float and your odds of not being trampled are close to zero. I hear there are some fairly serious injuries on a regular basis and minor injuries are common.

Shinto rope

kanazawa shimenawa shinto sacred rope japanese boy shrine

Shinto shrine

I’m not sure the exact location of this jinja as I’ve never been there. Today’s random photo was taken by either my son or daughter when they were being toured around the Kanazawa area courtesy of the generous Maki San.

That’s some serious Shinto rope (shimenawa) on this shrine.

Mizu Inari Jinja (水稲荷神社)



The white paper on this Shinto shrine is called gohei (御幣). The bells are rung to summon the gods. The kanji written on the bell pulls say Asukai (飛鳥井). I’m not sure of the significance.

This shrine dates back to 941, but, like many shrines in post-WW2 Japan, 水稲荷神社 has been moved from its original location. Mizu Inari Jinja has been in its current location (between Waseda University and Kansenen Park) since 1963.

Mizu Inari Jinja

One of the closest shrines (if not the closest) to Waseda University is Mizu Inari Jinja on the Takadanobaba side of campus. I’ve shown you glimpses of it previously. Today’s photo (my Windows 7 random wallpaper of the day) is a close-up version.

360 year old torii

One early summer day, we grabbed a guide book and headed to Komae City (狛江市), in the southwest part of Tokyo near the Tama River. As part of the walk, the guidebook had us go through Izumi Shrine (伊豆美神社) to check out the 350+ year old stone torii (鳥居). We were looking for something really impressive so it took us a while to actually find what we came to see.

While the stone torii gate looks impressive from the angle you see above, I was on the ground to take this photo. I’ll have to post a photo of what it looks like from any other vantage point to show you its less than ordinariness in a future entry.

Below is the description, for those who can read Japanese, of this torii gate. I looked at the torii, read the sign, looked at the torii again, and then wondered what all the fuss was about.

The sign basically says that the torii is 2.65 meters (under 9 feet) in height. It was built out of stone in the Edo Period, 1651, and is the oldest one left in the city (no surprise there). There is also a brief bio on the person who donated it, Ishigaya Sadakiyo (石谷貞清), who was apparently a famous warrior/governor.

The most interesting thing, in my opinion, about this torii is the rope (shimenawa) across the front. There are several variations, but typically shimenawa looks something like what you see in the bottom photo in this post. This one had a rare, rigid, straight style (with none of the usual white paper-gohei–hanging off of it) which I haven’t seen before or since.

Wedded rocks (meotoiwa or 夫婦岩)

ocean rocks wedded rope sea of japan 双子岩

Today we have another picture that Ryan took when he visited Kanazawa. I’m not sure the exact location of these rocks in the Sea of Japan, but Ryan says they were between Kanazawa (金沢) and Wajima (輪島).

Update: We just got back from visiting Ishikawa Prefecture. During the trip I found out the name of these rocks is Hatagoiwa (機具岩) in Shikamachi (志賀町).