Benten ponds

Naturalist Kevin Short’s latest piece for the Japan News concerns the irrigation ponds which are often presided over by a Benten shrine, since the deity is associated with water. (For the full article, see here.) ****************************************************** Benzaiten started off as … Continue reading

Space-age Shinto

Picture for the day on the Japan Today site shows how Shinto, despite its cherishing of traditions, manages to keep abreast of contemporary developments, including rocket science.  Here blessings for a successful launch are requested of the local kami by … Continue reading

Ise pilgrimage 2014

There’s an anonymous website by a retired Japanese gentleman called Leisurely Walkings which gives details of his excursions. One of them was a six-day walk from Osaka to Ise, recreating the Okage-mairi of Edo times. He writes that Okage-mairi should … Continue reading

Shinto weddings

The following is adapted from a paper by John Breen entitled ‘A brief history of Amaterasu in Tokyo’.  (For those living in Kyoto, he’ll be giving a talk next Tuesday, Feb 25, on ‘Amaterasu’s progress: on Ise, its priests and … Continue reading

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