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   All the way back in the year 1478, a man named Ota Dokan constructed the “Hie Shrine.” This shrine is named after the guardian deity of Mount Hie in the Shiga Prefecture. This deity is called Oyamakui-no-kami, or more commonly … Read More

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        If you have any interest in Japan, you would probably recognize the maneki neko if you saw it. The maneki neko is that adorable cat with the one arm raised, waving. This cat is also referred to as the “beckoning … Read More

Kimono and Tea Ceremony
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Trying on a Furisode Kimono         The International Institute for Ritual Culture Education (IRCE) gave me the great honor of trying on a furisode kimono. A kimono is a traditional Japanese garment that is worn on special occasions and during festivals. … Read More

What are “Kami?”
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  One of the most prevalent religions in Japan is the Shinto religion. For Americans, understanding this religion can be confusing due to its vast differences from Christianity, the most prevalent religion in the United States. The Shinto religion is focused … Read More

What is the Difference between Shrines and Temples?
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  There approximately 95,000 shrines and 86,000 temples in Japan. So, what is the difference between the two? The short answer is that shrines are for the Shinto religion and temples are for the Buddhist religion, though many Japanese people practice … Read More

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        Right in the heart of Minato, Tokyo, lies the Zojoji Temple- the main temple of Jodo-shu Buddhism. This temple is absolutely enormous and has one of the best locations in Tokyo as the Tokyo Tower can be seen standing tall … Read More

How to Pray at a Japanese Shrine ?
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There are many different practices that take place at Shinto shrines. These include performing the temizu, praying, and walking through the torii gate  in the proper form. In the videos below, we will explain to you how to turn your … Read More

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  When Americans think of Japan, it is common that they think of the kawaii-culture of cute characters and cosplay outfits. The capital of kawaii-style fashion is Harajuku, Japan, where the streets are packed with clothing stores selling pink, furry, lacey … Read More

Meiji Jingu(Shrine)
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If you have any interest in shrines and temples, then it is likely you have heard about the Meiji Shrine. Meiji Shrine is one of the most famous shrines in Japan as it is dedicated to the divine souls of … Read More

Kanda Myoujin Shrine
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   Placed in Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku, a short walk from famous tourist destination Akihabara, sits the jaw-dropping shrine, Kanda Myoujin. The Kanda Shrine is absolutely stunning and is definitely well-sized. The origina l Kanda Shrine collapsed in the devastating Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. … Read More

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