Posts Tagged ‘Shinto’

This last autumn — way back on October 17th — I trucked over to Sasayama to attend the annual Sasayama Autumn Festival (篠山秋祭 — sasayama aki matsuri), which is officially called the Kasuga-jinja Religious Festival (春日神社の祭礼 — kasuga-jinja no sairei) and presumably has its origins as a harvest festival. The matsuri coincides closely with the […]


Not too far down the road from Izumo-taisha the last sandy vestiges of the land sprinkle out into the Sea of Japan.  The beach here is called Inasa-no-hama and it is the site where Okuninushi (大国主), the Great Land Master, ceded control of Japan to Amaterasu and her heirs.  According to the Kojiki, the Record […]


I’ve been to Izumo-taisha (出雲大社), the “Izumo Grand Shrine,” three times but I’ve never seen the main hall, called the honden (本殿) in Japanese, which is one of the most famous buildings in Japan.  The honden at a Shinto shrine is reserved for the sole use of the god that resides there — it’s a […]


Yaegaki-jinja (八重垣神社) is a shrine dedicated to the the god Susanoo and his bride, the princess Kushinada, and it is said that the main shrine building is located on the site where Susanoo built the house that he and his bride lived in.  Yaegaki Shrine is an 縁結び (enmusubi) shrine, that is, a shrine dedicated […]


Although many people consider the Yamaboko Junkō parade to be the main event of Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri festival, I was really looking forward to seeing the shinkousai (神幸祭 — literally ‘god happiness festival’) at Yasaka-jinja.  The origin of Gion Matsuri dates back to 869 AD when a plague ravaged the Kyoto area.  Thinking that the […]


Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri festival (祇園祭), which is one of Japan’s “big three” festivals, takes place every year over the course of the entire month of July.  Though there are special events scheduled for almost every day during the month of July, what is generally considered the main event — the Yamaboko Junkō (山鉾巡行) parade — […]


Not too long ago I was asked to take photographs for a friend’s wedding at Osaka’s Sumiyoshi-taisha shrine, a place I’ve written about before.  What really impressed me about the ceremony, aside from the music that was being played while the marriage itself took place within the shrine building, was the procession from the waiting […]