Sumiyoshi Shrine, Fukuoka.

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 2017.

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.

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.

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 [...]