Shinto

Learn About Japan’s Original Game of Football: Kemari

Ball games are popular all around the world and Japan is no exception. During the Heian Period (9th till 12th century AD) a non-competitive sport known as ‘kemari’ was extremely popular. It was so popular that it has even been revived in the modern times. The objective of the game is to have the ball…

Would You Like to Become a Shinto Priest? Here’s How to Get Started!

Have you ever wondered about the path required to becoming a Shinto priest? In the past, there were no standardized certifications required for Shinto priesthood as it used to be a hereditary profession. However, in modern times, those who want to become official Shinto priests must pass examinations by the Association of Shintō Shrines (Jinja…

Yakuyoke and Yakubarai: Remove Your Bad Luck for the Year!

Are you currently feeling like the year is not treating you well? Then you should check whether you are at the age when you will face bad luck. The Japanese believe in yakudoshi, in which men will suffer bad luck at the ages of 25, 42, and 61. On the other hand, the bad years…

The Story Behind the Iconic Boars Near the Kyoto Imperial Palace

On the western side of Kyoto’s Imperial Palace lies a Shinto Shrine known as ‘Goo Shrine’. It enshrines Wake no Kiyomaro, a high-ranking Japanese official of the Nara period. It is guarded by boar statues which are believed to protect him. There is a good story behind all this, let’s dig deeper into it! Wake…

Try Japan’s Divine Treat Inarizushi: Sushi Fit for a God!

If you want a unique taste of Japanese culture, why not try the odd and intriguing sushi which is fabled to be the favourite food of the Shinto god, Inari? Whether you are going to your local sushi place or visiting Nara, in Japan, and sampling one of the many famous Japanese restaurants in the…

Mt Omine’s Ban on Women and 3 Tests of Courage!

Mount Omine is a holy mountain located in the Nara Prefecture and although it is popularly known as Mount Omine, its official name is actually Mount Sanjo. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is popular for its three tests of courage. The Ominesanji Temple is situated at the top of the mountain…

Meoto Iwa: The Married Rocks in Ise City

Located in the sea off Futami in Mie prefecture are a couple of small rocky sea stacks: they are known as Meoto Iwa or the Married Couple Rocks. These rocks are seen as a representation of the union of the creators of the kami, the spirits worshiped in Shinto religion. The two stones are identified…

Kotodama: Do You Believe in the Power of Words?

Do you believe that there is power in words? Words are able to hurt someone, lift a person’s spirits or make a person feel afraid, so it does not seem too far-fetched for the Japanese to believe that there are divine spirits which reside in words. This belief is known as ‘kotodama’, which literally means…

Why Does This Japanese Town Ban Cucumbers?

During the summer, cucumbers are a great treat in Japan to cool the body. They are cooling, crunchy and healthy so it seems strange that anyone would want to ban them. Nevertheless, in Fukui Prefecture, there is a town called Adose-cho where cucumbers are prohibited from being eaten or even grown. norecipes.com/ Apparently, the town…