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Inari-ō-Kami 稲荷大神 A Prosperous and Beloved Divinity  

Inari god japan

Inari-ō-Kami 稲 荷 大 神 sometimes only Inari is among the most important Kami deities of the shintō is considered the deity of rice, fertility, agriculture, industry and earthly success. Furthermore, he is the guardian and protector of the Kitsunes who in turn, acting as messengers, are revered as divinities.
I am sure  happened to you that very often in the jinja (shintō sanctuaries) there are the sculptures of the foxes (placed to the north-east, which play the role of guardian) where there is also the custom of giving gifts like the Abura-age (a type of tōfu). Although Inari-ō-Kami is usually represented as a male gender from an indefinite age, his figure can be represented with that of an elderly man who brings rice.

Folklore, Mauro Piacentini, Inari-ō-Kami

The Magatama 勾玉 Ancient Jewels from the Past

magatama 2

 Ancient "jewels" already in use in Japan since 1000 BC At first used only as ornaments for their beauty, then became elements related to spirituality and religious rites since ancient times until today and used in everyday life.
Magatama 勾 玉 are "jewels" with a curved shape created from different types of materials (the most common are jade, agate, quartz, talc or jasper). The first artifacts seem to date back towards the end of the Jōmon period and the Kofun period, so we can place them in a period ranging from 1000 BC. and the sixth century AD

Traditions, Mauro Piacentini, Magatama

Jorōgumo 絡新婦 Spider Woman Yokai

Jorōgumo 4

Jorōgumo 絡新婦 The Spider Woman, one of the best known yokai in Japanese folklore, appears in the tales and chronicles of Japan from the Edo period. A creature that has always had a particular charm because of its stories.
Yokai creatures such as monsters, demons, spirits, or "goblins" have been part of Japanese stories and folklore for hundreds of years and have evolved and adapted to modern times and society, transforming and finding space even in entertainment with films and anime .

Yokai, Folklore, Mauro Piacentini, Jorōgumo

L'omikuji 御御籤 and the prediction of Fortune

omikuji5In ultra-modern Japan, where everyone runs and lives a busy life, the Japanese still stop in the temples to pray and find out what the future holds for them thanks to the omikuji, the sheets that predict luck.
Omikuji, also called mikuji み く じ, is a divinatory leaflet, which we find in all Shinto and Buddhist temples in Japan. A "prediction" that includes love, work, life and health.

Traditions, Mauro Piacentini, omikuji

Tanabata-sai 七夕祭 The Summer Festival in Japan

tanabatamaturi takekazari

Tanabata-sai (七夕 祭) is one of the Gosekku one of the 5 most important Japanese holidays that is celebrated on July 7th which is linked to the homonymous legend that celebrates the reunification of the gods Orihime and Hikoboshi respectively representatives of the stars Vega and Arutairu. 

From Chinese origin it was imported into Japan by Koken-Tennō the only daughter of Shōmu-Tennō during the Heian-jidai (794-1185) but it became very popular during the Edo-jidai (1603-1868) when it merged with Obon giving rise to the Tanabata modern.

Traditions, Tanabata-sai, Mauro Piacentini

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