Tokyobling's Blog

Jozaninarijinja – Shimane Castle

Posted in People, Places by tokyobling on November 26, 2012

Any foreigner who has spent any time in Japan, and almost all of Japanese school children know of the strange foreigner Lafcadio Hearn (his Japanese name was Koizumi Yakumo, or 小泉八雲), an exceptionally cosmopolitan Irish-Greek intellectual who came to Japan in 1890 as a journalist but quickly had to change career to that of an English language teacher, a fate no doubt shared by many eager young westerners in the present times. His first teaching post in Japan was at a school in Shimane, capital of Shimane Prefecture, which later featured in his famous writings about Japan. Also featured in his writings was this little shrine, the Jozaninarijinja (城山稲荷神社), an Inari shinto shrine at the top of the castle mountain in central Shimane. On his way to school he would often stop and look at the large stone statues of foxed outside the shrine. Hence, it is in my opinion that Lafcadio Hearn generally, and this shrine in particular, could be considered the guardian spirits, or saints, of English teachers in Japan, Japanophiles and even foreign manga lovers! If you consider yourself having ever fitted into one of those categories, take a moment the next time you are in Shimane and throw a coin to the spirits of this shrine!

6 Responses

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  1. DoF@theinfill said, on November 26, 2012 at 9:41 am

    So many kids of friends (mostly daughters(?)) seem to have taken the opportunity to go to Japan to teach English – the next time I hear of one I shall send kind thoughts to this shrine in support of their time, work and students. 🙂 Particularly taken with the last photo’s carving – beautiful.


    • tokyobling said, on November 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you! Yes, there are many who have done this journey, some remain, like me, some go back, I think almost everyone benefits from their experience. And, Japanese wood carvers are absolutely amazing…!


  2. Marie said, on November 27, 2012 at 7:13 am

    I agree with the first poster, the leaves are so beautiful! I usually like the inari best, but the leaves were also a bit unexpected which made them more appreciated.


    • tokyobling said, on November 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Thank you Marie! You would love visiting these shrines and temples!


  3. Timi said, on November 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Gotta put this place on my “to-visit-list” 😀


    • tokyobling said, on November 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      When you have visited all the other great places in Shimane City that I have yet to blog about! (^-^)


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