Sumiyoshi Shrine in Hakata City, Fukuoka, has an interesting story to tell. Take a walk through its serene grounds with me, won't you? Entrance. History. Sumiyoshi Shrine is dedicated to safe sea faring. Travellers from Yamato to China and Korea would make a pilgrimage, starting at the head Shrine Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka, visiting each [...]
Kanamara Matsuri. The name may not be familiar, but if you like to read up about weird shit on the internet (like me), you may well know it by a different name; Japan's penis festival. Of course, I went along for the 2017 celebration of everything phallic. Some happy festival-goers. History. This is a Shinto [...]
Ema boards, or wishing plaques, are a mainstay of Shintoism, but it can also be seen in use in some Buddhist temples. They have a rather interesting origin, allow me to impart. History. The word ema is comprised of two kanji: 絵馬. The first 絵 for picture, and 馬 for horse. Horses are revered as [...]
Fushimi Inari Taisha. Does the name seem familiar? Maybe? What if I say "Senbon Torii"? Still no? Okay well let me put you out of your misery. It's a famous Shinto shrine nestled at the base of Inari mountain, Kyoto. It's most recognisable feature is it's alleged over 1,000 torii (gateways unique to Shintoism and [...]
A close up of the Kanji etched into the orange Torii of Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyoto, Japan.