Posted by: softypapa | March 8, 2008

Japan Kamidana Altar Artificial Sakaki Leaves (2 stems)



Brand new set of two (2) artificial sakaki branches with plastic evergreen leaves.  These small, artificial branches with leaves are designed to resemble leaves from the Asian Sakaki tree (Cleyera japonica) which are placed in special vases (not included) called sakaki tate on either side of a kamidana shrine.  The foliage from this tree is important within the Shinto tradition as a religious altar display item, as the dark green sakaki leaves are appreciated by the Japanese for their evergreen appearance and hearty nature which are thought to impart a sense of abundance and longevity to the Shinto religious setting.  The respect the Japanese hold for this tree is evident in its name as the word sakaki translates as ‘god tree’.  As sakaki trees are difficult to find outside Japan these two small artificial sakaki branches with plastic leaves may be used as appropriate decorative items within any kamidana or other Shinto setting.  These artificial sakaki are appropriately sized for most common sakaki tate vases though the stems of the plastic sakaki may be bent or broken to adjust the length as needed.  Please read below to learn more about Japan’s native religion, Shinto and please click here to see additional sakaki vase sets available within our eBay store The Old Tokaido.

Please note that we also carry this item as a complete set with appropriate sakaki tate vases.  Please click here to see the complete set listings.

Size of each artificial sakaki branch:
Height from stem to furthest leaf tip (approximate): 15.6 inches (40.0 centimeters)
Weight (combined and approximate): 0.8 ounces (22 grams)
Please note that each sakaki stem can be cut for more accurate sizing

Important Note:
Please note that this artificial
sakaki set does not include any vase which must be acquired separately.  Please click here to see appropriate vases for Shinto kamidana or complete vase sets which include artificial sakaki.

Click here to see more sakaki items!
here to see other Shinto items!
here to see more 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: INV-0000075_05
category code: sakakitatemono
ship code: G6

Shinto kamidana available at
Or visit us on eBay at The Old Tokaido

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