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Komainu 狛犬 are the guardian statues of Japanese temples and shrines



The Komainu, also known as Japanese shrine guardians, are an important and revered figure in Japanese culture. These statues of lions or dogs (but not only we can also find foxes or even raccoons) have an imposing and elegant presence and a fascinating and compelling history that dates back centuries.

Traditions, Mauro, Komainu

Itako イタコ the Japanese Shamans

The Itako, also known as ichiko 市子 or ogamisama オガミサマ, are Japanese figures who practice divination and communication with spirits. These women, who can be considered the Japanese version of shamans or mediums, are often seen as mysterious, powerful and controversial figures.

Traditions, Mauro, Japanese Shamans

Kokkuri こっくり The Japanese Divination Board

Kukkuri 1
Kokkuri こっくり or 狐狗狸 is a “game” (although the term wouldn't be appropriate) that involves using some sort of ouija board to communicate with spirits. The name derives from the spirit that is usually evoked in the session, in fact this practice can often be found with different names. In vogue among teenagers, especially among students, in Japan it collects conflicting opinions, between those who think it's just a game and those who think that certain things are not to be played around with.

Folklore, Mauro, Kokkuri

Ajisukitakahikone アヂスキタカヒコネ the God of Thunder

 Ajisukitakahikone 2 The God of Thunder was born from Okuninushi 大国主命 (chief god of Izumo, in the southern island of Honshu and central character of the important cycle of myths set in that region) and Takiri-bime, one of the Munakata Sanjojin - 宗像 三女神 (three goddesses enclosed in the Munakata-taisha Shrine - 宗像ー代謝 ),  the brother of Takemikazuchi and Kaminari (Raiden) .

Folklore, Lino, Ajisukitakahikone

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

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