Posted by: softypapa | February 4, 2009

Japanese Setsubun Chalkboard Oni

chalkboard-oni

Japanese red ogre (aka oni)This delightful chalkboard image was made by Ms. Sawano who teaches third grade at an elementary school in Shizuoka City, Japan. The image depicts a red ogre (aka oni) running away from soy beans which have been tossed at him. Ms Sawano drew the image on her classroom chalkboard for the delight of her students and to mark the February 3rd Japanese festival of Setsubun. The beans are shown along with a special red-colored wooden box called fuku masu (luck box) which are used to hold beans during the mamemaki bean tossing event.

The event of Setsubun traditionally marked the passage of one season into the next and was therefore in the past celebrated on the day before the new season would commence. Contemporary Japanese however, typically participate in Setsubun activities only on February 3rd which in the past represented the day before the start of the spring season. Community Setsubun events are held at Buddhist temples as well as Shinto shrines while family members may participate in an activity called mamemaki (literally “bean toss”) which is thought to symbolically cleanse the home (a form of spiritual spring cleaning). The head of the home (traditionally the father) will done a fierce ogre (oni) mask while family members toss soy beans at him while chanting oni wa soto fuku wa uchi which roughly translates as “out with bad luck and in with good”. In the past when Japanese families were often quite large the role of the oni would be played by the household toshiotoko, identified as the male family member who was born on the same animal year in accordance with the Chinese calendar.

Japanese red ogre (aka oni) running from soy beans during Setsubun festivalLearn more about the Shinto religion at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Advertisements
Posted by: softypapa | February 1, 2009

Shinto Shrine Cat

cat on roof of Shinto shrine buildingCan you spot the orange-colored cat sleeping on the roof of this shrine building (click to enlarge)? This photo was taken at Minowa Inari jinja which is located in a very old and densely populated neighborhood of Shimizu city near Mt. Fuji. With many residential homes nearby the shrine grounds provide a wonderful natural setting for area cats which are often seen resting on the shrine engawa, sleeping on the warm roof tiles or even crossing the altar during service. Minowa shrine is one of our main sources for high-quality omamori,ofuda and ema which are available in our store.

 

Learn more about the Shinto religion at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Posted by: softypapa | April 16, 2008

Ise Grand Shrine God Shelf Japan Shinto Kamidana Zushi

 

Description

Antique wooden Japanese Shinto kamidana ‘god shelf’ with custom fitted ofuda from the grand shrine at Ise.  This type of small Shinto (native religion of Japan) shrine is commonly used in Japan by families or even organizations and business to symbolically house the group’s patron deity.  Kamidana will normally be placed in conspicuous view on a shelf or high wall within an important room such as the family room or in an area where employees or associates work or gather.  Kamidana are also used to house sacred tablets called ofuda (lit “honorable plaque”) which are inscribed with written prayers and sanctified by a priest.  Kamidana are normally not just for show and will commonly receive regular attention from those who live or operate within its sphere of influence.  With my wife’s (Japanese) family for instance, the two kamidana within their home do receive offerings twice daily; once in the morning and again in the evening before supper.  The ritual is always the same, and anyone who wakes up early enough might enjoy watching mother as she takes the first scoops of rice from the cooker and gives these, along with several clear glasses of water, to her husband who delivers the offerings, along with a solemn prayer, to each of the home’s kamidana as well as to their home’s small Buddhist altar (butsudan).  Kamidana (aka zushi) are basically small versions of larger Shinto shrines called Jinja, which are found at the heart of every Japanese community as well as areas of spiritual significance and to mark important natural features such as waterfalls and even the tops of mountains.  Please read below to learn more about Japanese Shinto shrines.

About the Listed Item

The high quality antique wooden kamidana offered here features expert craftsmanship and classic Japanese style, with detailed architectural touches.  The shrine includes double doors at the front which can be opened though these do not provide access to the sanctuary within which can only be reached by removing the roof.  The roof section of the kamidana can be removed by pulling carefully and simultaneously at both end of the roof.  Removing the roof reveals fitted joints which attach the roof to the body.  Once the roof is removed there is a custom built wooden box within which can be slid out of the kamidana.  The inner box is very well made and held together with bamboo pins.  A fitted lid on the box comes off to reveal a large antique ofuda within.  The ofuda is from the grand shrine at Ise Japan which is the country’s most revered jinja and a site dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu.  This ofuda seems to have been specially designed for use with this kamidana (or vice versa) as it slides into the box such that there is virtually no gap between the sides of the ofuda and the wooden box.  These manufacturing tolerances are amazing to consider as it is almost impossible to slide a thin metal ruler between the gap!  Additional marks of quality are the beveled molding and exceptional joinery used in constructing the kamidana.  Altogether this is one of the nicest kamidana which we have had the pleasure to acquire and bring to market.  Please refer to the size chart below for links to additional listings for different sizes and styles of kamidana.

Size:
Height: 16.5 inches (42.2 centimeters)
Width (across top): 9.8 inches (25.2 centimeters)
Depth (across top): 5.8 inches (14.8 centimeters)
Weight: 5.9 pounds (2.7 kilograms)

Additional Styles of brand new Kamidana (click link to view available listings):

Click here to see sanctified Shinto ofuda tablets!
Click
here to see additional Shinto items!
Click
here to see more treasures from Japan!

Note about buying Japanese Shinto antiques
Many Shinto items such as ofuda, omamori, hamaya and shimenawa are thought to have limited powers which diminish over time.  Japanese people therefore commonly dispose of such items each year in special burning ceremonies called dondoyaki, which are presided over by Shinto priests and performed on the grounds of the shrine.  However, many Shinto items are not burned and may find new life as cherished religious items, sometimes with foreigners practicing Shinto outside Japan.  Many of the Japanese we have discussed this with (including a Shinto priest) have been pleased to learn that old items of their native faith are often well received by Shinto believers abroad.  However, we are sensitive to the fact that some may prefer to see their old Shinto items burned and for this reason we do offer a free disposal service.  Anyone who wishes to have their Shinto items properly destroyed in a dondoyaki ceremony may send the items to us which we will hold and take to our local Shinto shrine for sanctioned disposal.  Please contact us in advance if you wish to use this complementary service and we will provide you with the appropriate mailing address.

About Japanese Shinto Shrines

At the heart and spiritual center of every Japanese city, town and village are well preserved wooded plots of land which are the sanctuary of Japan’s native deities.  These places, which are called Jinja in Japanese, will invariably include one or more shrines where believers can worship and offer prayers to the gods.  Jinja, and the grounds upon which they reside are used not just for worship, but also as a place for community events, festivals and even as playgrounds.  Most shrines typically consist of a large patch of wooded ground with a gate-like structure called a torii providing passage from the secular world into the spiritual.  Fierce stone dog statues (one is actually a lion) called komainu stand guard along a stone path leading from the torii to the foot of the shrine complex.  Before reaching the shrine, visitors will normally stop to rinse their hands and mouth at a stone water basin (chozubachi) provided for this purpose.  This is done as an act of purification before coming into the presence of the resident deity.  Upon reaching the actual shrine one must typically then ascent a short staircase to a platform where worship may be performed.  Looking through the large structure’s open doors one might spot a second, more secluded building visible beyond the first.  This other building is the actual shrine itself and the true residence of the enshrined deity.  Legend holds that any who improperly enter the inner-sanctuary will be blinded by the magnificent power residing therein, and for this reason most Japanese are happy to pay their respects from the safety of the doorway of the outermost building.  Large Japanese Shinto shrines often have numerous smaller shrines located elsewhere on the shrine grounds.  These smaller structures are often only slightly larger than a doll house and are the symbolic homes of lesser deities who are perhaps in some way associated with the god of the main shrine.

item code: R1S1-0004840
ship code: 660x510x420 or appropriate

Shinto kamidana available at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Posted by: softypapa | March 27, 2008

Antique Brass Japanese Daikoku Statue Okimono

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Daikoku God Luck Treasure Sack Shinto Religion Shichifukujin Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

Antique brass image of Daikoku, Japan’s god of wealth and good fortune.  Daikoku is one of the most famous and celebrated gods within the Japanese Shinto (native religion of Japan) pantheon (please read below to learn more about Shinto).  Daikoku is one of seven popular luck gods collectively known as Shichifukujin.  These famous gods (six male and one female) are frequently seen together in Japanese art, often on a boat sailing the seas of fortune.  Daikoku is usually depicted holding his wonderful luck hammer which he waves to dispense good fortune upon worthy humans.  The god is also frequently shown standing upon two large bales of rice, an auspicious symbol of prosperity.  The happy luck god wears one of the most captivating smiles in all Asian art and is nearly always depicted in the act of joyfully visiting wealth and happiness upon the earth (note the bag of goodies carried over his left shoulder).

About the Listed Item

The large, old brass Daikoku display statue (okimono) offered here is in poor to fair condition with marks and scratches from handling.  This wonderful old statue dates from the early to mid 20th century and wears a darkened patina of age which we believe enhances the figure’s character and appeal.  The Daikoku figure and treasure sack are made of brass while the small child and Daikoku’s hammer are made of a silver-colored metal which we cannot identify.

Size:
Height (from base to top of Daikoku’s hammer): 9.0 inches (23.0 centimeters)
Width (across base): 9.0 inches (23.0 centimeters)
Depth (across base): 5.9 inches (15.0 centimeters)
Weight: 7.0 pounds (3.18 kilograms)

Important Note:
Please be sure to note the shipping cost for this sake large and heavy brass statue.  Shipment is via international Express Mail Service (EMS) which included a tracking number and insurance.

Click here to see other Daikoku items!
Click
here to see more Shinto items!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about the Shinto religion

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines (jinja) throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside.

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii, cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

item code: R1S6-0004618
ship code: B or appropriate

Shinto kamidana available at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Posted by: softypapa | March 26, 2008

Shinto Shimenawa Rope Japan Kamidana Shogatsu New Year

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Note: The above video demonstrates a Japanese farmer making his own Shimenawa for use in his family home at new year. The Shimenawa offered in this listing was not produced by this man.

Description

Small size Japanese Shinto prayer rope with no paper inserts.  These items are called shimenawa and are a common sight at Shinto shrines hanging from the torii shrine gate and above the entrance to the altar.  Shimenawa are made of rice straw which is twisted and braided before being bound with string.  A wood or wire insert is often used to cause the shimenawa to preserve its shape.  Japanese will commonly replace old shimenawa at the start of each year (shogatsu).  Shimenawa were in the past produced in the home by farmers using left over straw from the rice harvest.  The video included with this listing shows a local farmer producing his own shimenawa at new year.

About the Listed Item

This small (please see size information below) shimenawa is suitable for use with kamidana altars, above doorways, or torii gates or anywhere one might wish to impart a sense of spiritual reverence. 

*** Please note that this shimenawa does not include any paper inserts ***

Size (approximate):
Length: 10.5 inches (27 centimeters)
Diameter (at widest end): 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters)
Weight: 1.1 ounces (32 grams)

Note about buying Japanese Shinto antiques
Many Shinto items such as ofuda, omamori, hamaya and shimenawa are thought to have limited powers which diminish over time.  Japanese people therefore commonly dispose of such items each year in special burning ceremonies called dondoyaki, which are presided over by Shinto priests and performed on the grounds of the shrine.  However, many Shinto items are not burned and may find new life as cherished religious items, sometimes with foreigners practicing Shinto outside Japan.  Many of the Japanese we have discussed this with (including a Shinto priest) have been pleased to learn that old items of their native faith are often well received by Shinto believers abroad.  However, we are sensitive to the fact that some may prefer to see their old Shinto items burned and for this reason we do offer a free disposal service.  Anyone who wishes to have their Shinto items properly destroyed in a dondoyaki ceremony may send the items to us which we will hold and take to our local Shinto shrine for sanctioned disposal.  Please contact us in advance if you wish to use this complementary service and we will provide you with the appropriate mailing address.

Click here to see more Buddhist and Shinto items!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about the Shinto religion

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside (please see the photo below showing our daughter at a very small local shrine near our home in Japan).

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii (red gates in the shrine photos below), cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

item code: R1S3-0004165
ship code: G3

Shinto kamidana available at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Posted by: softypapa | March 26, 2008

Shinto Shimenawa Rope Japan Kamidana Shogatsu New Year

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Note: The above video demonstrates a Japanese farmer making his own Shimenawa for use in his family home at new year. The Shimenawa offered in this listing was not produced by this man.

Description

Small size Japanese Shinto prayer rope with no paper inserts.  These items are called shimenawa and are a common sight at Shinto shrines hanging from the torii shrine gate and above the entrance to the altar.  Shimenawa are made of rice straw which is twisted and braided before being bound with string.  A wood or wire insert is often used to cause the shimenawa to preserve its shape.  Japanese will commonly replace old shimenawa at the start of each year (shogatsu).  Shimenawa were in the past produced in the home by farmers using left over straw from the rice harvest.  The video included with this listing shows a local farmer producing his own shimenawa at new year.

About the Listed Item

This small (please see size information below) shimenawa is suitable for use with kamidana altars, above doorways, or torii gates or anywhere one might wish to impart a sense of spiritual reverence. 

*** Please note that this shimenawa does not include any paper inserts ***

Size (approximate):
Length: 9.0 inches (23.0 centimeters)
Diameter (at widest end): 1.0 inches (2.5 centimeters)
Weight: 0.8 ounces (24 grams)

Note about buying Japanese Shinto antiques
Many Shinto items such as ofuda, omamori, hamaya and shimenawa are thought to have limited powers which diminish over time.  Japanese people therefore commonly dispose of such items each year in special burning ceremonies called dondoyaki, which are presided over by Shinto priests and performed on the grounds of the shrine.  However, many Shinto items are not burned and may find new life as cherished religious items, sometimes with foreigners practicing Shinto outside Japan.  Many of the Japanese we have discussed this with (including a Shinto priest) have been pleased to learn that old items of their native faith are often well received by Shinto believers abroad.  However, we are sensitive to the fact that some may prefer to see their old Shinto items burned and for this reason we do offer a free disposal service.  Anyone who wishes to have their Shinto items properly destroyed in a dondoyaki ceremony may send the items to us which we will hold and take to our local Shinto shrine for sanctioned disposal.  Please contact us in advance if you wish to use this complementary service and we will provide you with the appropriate mailing address.

Click here to see more Buddhist and Shinto items!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about the Shinto religion

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside (please see the photo below showing our daughter at a very small local shrine near our home in Japan).

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii (red gates in the shrine photos below), cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

item code: R1S3-0004164
ship code: G3

Shinto kamidana available at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Posted by: softypapa | March 26, 2008

Shinto Shimenawa Rope Japan Kamidana Shogatsu New Year

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Note: The above video demonstrates a Japanese farmer making his own Shimenawa for use in his family home at new year. The Shimenawa offered in this listing was not produced by this man.

Description

Small size Japanese Shinto prayer rope with no paper inserts.  These items are called shimenawa and are a common sight at Shinto shrines hanging from the torii shrine gate and above the entrance to the altar.  Shimenawa are made of rice straw which is twisted and braided before being bound with string.  A wood or wire insert is often used to cause the shimenawa to preserve its shape.  Japanese will commonly replace old shimenawa at the start of each year (shogatsu).  Shimenawa were in the past produced in the home by farmers using left over straw from the rice harvest.  The video included with this listing shows a local farmer producing his own shimenawa at new year.

About the Listed Item

This small (please see size information below) shimenawa is suitable for use with kamidana altars, above doorways, or torii gates or anywhere one might wish to impart a sense of spiritual reverence. 

*** Please note that this shimenawa does not include any paper inserts ***

Size (approximate):
Length: 10.5 inches (27 centimeters)
Diameter (at widest end): 1.2 inches (3 centimeters)
Weight: 1.2 ounces (35 grams)

Note about buying Japanese Shinto antiques
Many Shinto items such as ofuda, omamori, hamaya and shimenawa are thought to have limited powers which diminish over time.  Japanese people therefore commonly dispose of such items each year in special burning ceremonies called dondoyaki, which are presided over by Shinto priests and performed on the grounds of the shrine.  However, many Shinto items are not burned and may find new life as cherished religious items, sometimes with foreigners practicing Shinto outside Japan.  Many of the Japanese we have discussed this with (including a Shinto priest) have been pleased to learn that old items of their native faith are often well received by Shinto believers abroad.  However, we are sensitive to the fact that some may prefer to see their old Shinto items burned and for this reason we do offer a free disposal service.  Anyone who wishes to have their Shinto items properly destroyed in a dondoyaki ceremony may send the items to us which we will hold and take to our local Shinto shrine for sanctioned disposal.  Please contact us in advance if you wish to use this complementary service and we will provide you with the appropriate mailing address.

Click here to see more Buddhist and Shinto items!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about the Shinto religion

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside (please see the photo below showing our daughter at a very small local shrine near our home in Japan).

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii (red gates in the shrine photos below), cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

item code: R1S3-0004163
ship code: G3

Shinto kamidana available at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Posted by: softypapa | March 22, 2008

Shinto Altar Offering Tray – Small Vintage Japan Sanbou

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

 

Description

Vintage Japanese Shinto altar offering tray (sanbou).  This old wooden tray may have once been used to present offerings upon a deity altar within a Japanese kamidana home altar (please read below to learn more about Shinto).  The tray is wood (possibly hinoki) and is a bit unusual as it has been decorated with hand-painted flowers (trays such as this are usually undecorated).  Shinto offering stands differ from Buddhist offering stands (keshoku) in that the latter are commonly round with a lacquer finish while Shinto stands are more frequently square shaped with no finish.

Condition and Age

The tray is a bit worn with marks and scratches from handling and a darkened patina of age.  The tray dates from the mid to late Japanese Showa period (1926-1989) and was acquired in the historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Size:
Height: 2.1 inches (5.5 centimeters)
Width (at top): 4.7 inches (12.0 centimeters)
Depth (at top): 3.7 inches (9.5 centimeters)
Weight: 1.4 ounces (39 grams)

Note about buying Japanese Shinto antiques
Many Shinto items such as ofuda, omamori, hamaya and shimenawa are thought to have limited powers which diminish over time.  Japanese people therefore commonly dispose of such items each year in special burning ceremonies called dondoyaki, which are presided over by Shinto priests and performed on the grounds of the shrine.  However, many Shinto items are not burned and may find new life as cherished religious items, sometimes with foreigners practicing Shinto outside Japan.  Many of the Japanese we have discussed this with (including a Shinto priest) have been pleased to learn that old items of their native faith are often well received by Shinto believers abroad.  However, we are sensitive to the fact that some may prefer to see their old Shinto items burned and for this reason we do offer a free disposal service.  Anyone who wishes to have their Shinto items properly destroyed in a dondoyaki ceremony may send the items to us which we will hold and take to our local Shinto shrine for sanctioned disposal.  Please contact us in advance if you wish to use this complementary service and we will provide you with the appropriate mailing address.

Click here to see other religious offering stands and trays!
Click
here to see more Shinto items!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

More about the Shinto religion

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines (jinja) throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside.

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii, cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

item code: R1S5-0004547
category code: (keshoku_sanbou)
ship code: L1650

Shinto kamidana available at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Posted by: softypapa | March 18, 2008

Small Japan Porcelain Sake Flasks Shinto Altar Tokkuri

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Kamidana Shinto Jinja Zushi Altar God Kami God Shelf Ofuda Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

Set of two (2) small porcelain Shinto religious sake flasks (tokkuri in Japanese) featuring a patterned Japanese family crest (kamon) on the body.  Small flasks such as these are commonly used for ceremonial offerings upon Shinto (native religion of Japan) shrines.  These altar flasks were made during the mid to late Japanese Showa period (1926-1989) and are in good condition with no chips or cracks though the flasks have scratches and marks from handling and a darkened patina of age.  There are also some pen marks on the bottom of one of the flasks.  The flasks were acquired in the beautiful and historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.  Please read below to learn more about sake as well as Japan’s native religion, Shinto.  Click here to see more sake flasks!

Size:
Height: 2.7 inches (7.0 centimeters)
Weight (combined): 3.3 ounces (94 grams)

Click here to see more Shinto items!
Click
here to see additional sake items!
Click
here to see more treasures from Japan!

More about Japanese sake and sake utensils

Sake has long been an important part of Japanese culture.  In the past, sake was considered a very special item, reserved for only the most important occasions, such as weddings, birth celebrations and other auspicious events.  Sake was considered a sacred drink, and accordingly the first glass poured was always offered to the gods before the remainder could be shared among the celebrants.  Sake can be served either warm or cold and special sake flasks are used to both prepare and dispense this unique Japanese drink.  Sake is warmed either by immersing the flask (already filled with sake of course) into warm water until the desired temperature is reached or through the use of a special sake kettle called a choshi.  The latter method however, though common in old Japan, is today usually reserved for ceremonial events only.  Over time, sake utensils, such as cups have developed their own ritual significance which is still evident in modern Japan.  For example, it is today common at Japanese engagement parties for the man and woman to exchange sake cups as a sign of their mutual intent to marry.  Very beautiful sake cups are also given away to celebrate the birth of a child, as these cherished items are considered symbolic of the significance of the new parent-child relationship.  Though normally small in size, sake cups and flasks have long been used in Japan as a medium for the expression of art and calligraphy.  Hand-painted cups and flasks are highly collectable both within and outside Japan and are eagerly sought after by collectors who value their utilitarian nature and artistic splendor.

More about the Shinto religion

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines (jinja) throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside.

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii, cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

item code: R1S5-0004482
ship code: L1650

Shinto kamidana available at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Posted by: softypapa | March 17, 2008

Antique Japanese Shinto Shrine Bell – Jinja no Dou Suzu

Suzu Bell Rin Shinto Shrine Jinja Altar Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Suzu Bell Rin Shinto Shrine Jinja Altar Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Suzu Bell Rin Shinto Shrine Jinja Altar Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Suzu Bell Rin Shinto Shrine Jinja Altar Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Suzu Bell Rin Shinto Shrine Jinja Altar Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Suzu Bell Rin Shinto Shrine Jinja Altar Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Suzu Bell Rin Shinto Shrine Jinja Altar Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Suzu Bell Rin Shinto Shrine Jinja Altar Japan Japanese Nippon Nihon Tokaido Softypapa

Suzu, Bell, Rin, Shinto, Shrine, Jinja, Altar, Japan, Japanese, Nippon, Nihon, Tokaido, Softypapa 

rel_shi_people_praying_sample.jpg

Description

Antique Japanese Shinto shrine bell (suzu in Japanese).  These bells are used by shrine visitors as a means of announcing their presence to the resident deity.  Shinto is the native religion of Japan, and there are shrines (jinja) to many thousands of Gods throughout the country.  Bells and rattles of different sorts are commonly found at the entrance to the shrine’s outer sanctuary where worship is performed.

About the Listed Item

This medium size (please see size information below) brass bell may have once graced the rafters of a shrine somewhere on the main Japanese island of Honshu.  The bell is dented in places and quite weathered, with a rich dark patina from years of open air exposure.  The bell is otherwise in fine condition with no cracks and a pleasant and very distinct ring.  Suzu such as this normally have a limited service life due to their constant use (every shrine visitor will rattle it once or twice) and exposure to the elements.  After serving a shrine for some years a suzu will normally be removed by a priest and possibly given as a gift to a shrine patron.  Shrine bells are one of the few Shinto artifacts which are discharged from service and returned to the secular world after serving their term within the sanctified grounds of a shrine.  This bell would make a beautiful decorative item and conversation piece, and represents a rare opportunity to honorably possess an authentic artifact of Japan’s native religion.  This bell dates from the mid Japanese Showa period (1926-1989) or before and was acquired in the historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.  Please see below to learn more about Shinto.

Size:
Height of bell (excluding cushions): 5.1 inches (13.0 centimeters)
Diameter of bell: 3.9 inches (10.0 centimeters)
Length of rope (approximate): 19.1 inches (49.0 centimeters)
Weight: 9.8 ounces (281 grams)

Click here to see more Shinto items!
Click
here to see religious charms, amulets and talismans!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

Note about buying Japanese Shinto antiques
Many Shinto items such as ofuda, omamori, hamaya and shimenawa are thought to have limited powers which diminish over time.  Japanese people therefore commonly dispose of such items each year in special burning ceremonies called dondoyaki, which are presided over by Shinto priests and performed on the grounds of the shrine.  However, many Shinto items are not burned and may find new life as cherished religious items, sometimes with foreigners practicing Shinto outside Japan.  Many of the Japanese we have discussed this with (including a Shinto priest) have been pleased to learn that old items of their native faith are often well received by Shinto believers abroad.  However, we are sensitive to the fact that some may prefer to see their old Shinto items burned and for this reason we do offer a free disposal service.  Anyone who wishes to have their Shinto items properly destroyed in a dondoyaki ceremony may send the items to us which we will hold and take to our local Shinto shrine for sanctioned disposal.  Please contact us in advance if you wish to use this complementary service and we will provide you with the appropriate mailing address.

More about the Shinto religion

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside (please see the photo below showing our daughter at a very small local shrine near our home in Japan).

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii (red gates in the shrine photos below), cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

item code: R1S6-0004457
ship code: G6

Shinto kamidana available at www.Shinto-Religion.com
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

Older Posts »

Categories