Tokyobling's Blog

Renewing Fire – Shitaya Shrine

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Places by tokyobling on January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! It is 2014 and all over Japan people are visiting shrines and temples to pray for a happy new year. It is also the time to renew old good luck charms, religious symbols and talismans by handing them in to the shrines to be burnt in a ritual bonfire. Over time charms and symbols lose their power and since it would be very rude to throw them in the garbage they all eventually end up here.

I took these photos as Tokyo’s Shitaya Shrine, one of my favorite old downtown shrines. Let’s hope for a good 2014!

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12 Responses

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  1. Hangaku Gozen said, on January 1, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Poor Daruma-san! I wonder what wish wasn’t fulfilled when someone decided to toss him into the flames. (Though I notice there’s a smaller one with both eyes filled in. Some reward!)

    Have a joyful New Year, Tokyobling! May your blog document many more happy, exciting events, while your own life is pleasant and peaceful.

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    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 4:18 am

      Thank you for the kind comment Hangaku Gozen! Judging from the size it must have been an important wish. Maybe a politician that wasn’t elected? Although some people fill in both eyes without waiting for their wish to be fulfilled, and some people get a new one ever year, for long term wishes! (^-^) Happy new year to you too!

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  2. Terence S. Jones said, on January 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    very cool – need to go to Japan for New Year’s next time 😉

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  3. Sonya said, on January 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Very cool photos. Thanks for teaching me something new about Japanese culture too!

    Like

  4. MrsUniversum said, on January 1, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Väldigt intressant restaureringsideologi man har i Japan! Helt annat tankegods än i västerlandet.

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    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 4:21 am

      Absolut! Om sanningen skall fram så var det inte så här förr i tiden dock. Det man hade sparade man och det vara bara den absoluta eliten som hade råd att “föryngra” sina tillhörigheter på det här viset. Numera lever vi alla som kejsare och vi har börjat anamma några av dessa ideologier… på gott och ont.

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  5. C said, on January 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I will interpret the pics as a New Year’s phoenix rising from the ashes! (It sounds a lot more civilized than the ridiculousness that was NYE in SF, for the most part.) One of these days I’ll need to see this for myself 🙂

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    • tokyobling said, on January 29, 2014 at 4:22 am

      I am sure you will! (^-^) The majority of my non-working NYEs have now been spent in Japan so I am getting used to it!

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  6. Zainab Khawaja said, on January 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    What a beautiful photo! The fire looks magestic and threatening. Great capture.

    Like


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