[Guest Post] Inari-Okami in Numata City

This week we have a wonderful guest post by Hannah over at http://benannainjapan.blogspot.com/! This post does an excellent job of illustrating just how much influence Inari has in a small area. I love how the shrines range from formal to casual, traditional to untraditional. And of course, the pure feeling of love and nostalgia that … Continue reading [Guest Post] Inari-Okami in Numata City

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How to Make Simple Votive Bibs (涎掛け)

Today I am going to show you how I make simple votive bibs (涎掛け) for my kitsune (fox) messenger statues! These are not essential by any means but I do think that the spirits appreciate them, and they look pretty! What are the Red Votive Bibs For? The red bibs are placed on the kitsune … Continue reading How to Make Simple Votive Bibs (涎掛け)

Japanese Folklore in Pokémon

If you are on the internet at all these days, you'll notice the huge craze that is Pokémon Go! Pokémon has been around for over 20 years and has brought joy to countless children and adults alike. However, being Japanese, there are a huge amount of pokémon in the franchise with references to Shinto, Buddhism, … Continue reading Japanese Folklore in Pokémon

Japanese Weather Dolls – Teru Teru Bōzu

If you are familiar with Japan and it's culture in any way, you probably will know of the little paper or cloth dolls which are often hung outside Japanese homes and schools. These dolls are called teru teru bōzu ( てるてる坊主 - lit 'shine shine monk') and are believed to have magical powers to bring forth … Continue reading Japanese Weather Dolls – Teru Teru Bōzu

Torii – An Icon of Japan

When visiting or seeing images of Japan, one of the most iconic symbols is definately the torii gate. With their vermilion colour and beautiful architecture, these gates create an air of awe and inspiration among many. What are Torii? Torii (鳥居 - literally meaning 'bird abode') are traditional Japanese gates found at the entrance or … Continue reading Torii – An Icon of Japan

Protecting the Gates: Shrine Guardians

Today I am going to talk about many of the guardian animals associated with Shinto. When visiting a Shinto shrine, one of the first things one sees are a pair of foxes, lion-dogs or other creatures. Lion Dogs (Komainu) Komainu translates to 'Korean dog' or 'Foreign dog'. It is believed that they came from the … Continue reading Protecting the Gates: Shrine Guardians