Monday, April 15, 2013

Small Shrines Along the Road

I'm used to small shrines along the road, as you can still see them in Germany. Even in big cities like Cologne. I've seen quite a lot in Kyoto and like to share some pictures. These shrines resemble the kamidana (神棚) and butsudan (佛壇), you can find in households, but these are on the streets, accessible to everyone. It’s quite astonishing, what you find accessible that isn’t vandalized, at least not in Japan. The terminus technicus for these small shrines is hokora (祠) or hokura (神庫).

A more rustic specimen

Don't look too much to the swastika, it's a Buddhist symbol (actually it's even found in more cultures), but also pay attention to the fire extinguisher on the right side

The characters (大日如来) are easy, but the meaning is unclear, at least to me, maybe: Great Japan as it will come

Another well kept small shrine

Other blogposts about this travel to Japan:
Cherry Blossoms (桜の花)  

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