And how Japan retained its writing system after WWII


The Tanabata Festival of Japan

Woodblock print showing a purple kimono-clad Orihime standing on a cloud to the left and above Hikoboshi, garbed in green and brown kimono, riding upon an ox.
Woodblock print showing a purple kimono-clad Orihime standing on a cloud to the left and above Hikoboshi, garbed in green and brown kimono, riding upon an ox.
From 100 Aspects of the Moon, by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. Late 1800’s. (Public Domain)

The Story


Why all the foxes and red gates?

Inari fox statue guarding the entrance to stairs beneath many closely-packed vermilion torii gates at Fushimi Grand Shrine
Inari fox statue guarding the entrance to stairs beneath many closely-packed vermilion torii gates at Fushimi Grand Shrine
Nearing the summit of Mount Inari.

What is an Inari Shrine?


Where ash-fall is an everyday occurrence

Sakurajima is situated across Kagoshima Bay from Kagoshima City.


The Ta no Kami of Southern Kyushu

Ta no Kami squatting by rice fields. Minayoshi, Kagoshima.


Cave of the Bear-People, Kumaso no Ana

The path to the cave passes through a wooden Torii gate, hung with a shimenawa rope and shide papers, which symbols purify those who enter and signify the entrance to the realm of the divine.


It all started with the gift of a white horse

Ema, Kirishima Shrine, Kagoshima.

Why “horse pictures”?


The story behind unusual Shinto shrine guardians

Koma-inu, Hachiman Shrine, Narai, Nagano. (Photo by author)


Myths, pilgrimage routes, and soccer

Hongu Grand Shrine, Wakayama. (Photo by author.)

Diane Neill Tincher

A resident of Japan since 1987, I am passionate about learning, history, and the beauty of the countryside. https://www.instagram.com/dianejapan

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