Full Text


Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxi ] Popularly called foxshrines, especially numerous in rural areas of Japan, inari have seated stone images of foxes at the entrance, the ‘messengers’ of the K ami of agriculture, food and fertility [19: 504–10]. The S hinto shrines are often dedicated to other kami , particularly Uga-no-mitama, the female kami of agriculture. The cult is very old and, among other explanations, was said in early times to appease foxes and prevent them damaging crops, or to neutralize fox-possession. The head shrine, Fushimi Inari in south-east Kyoto city, traditionally built in 711 ce , is noted for its thousands of votive torii (sacred gates) in long tunnels, covering the hill behind. The chief festival is Hatsu-uma, the ‘first horse day’ after the official first day of spring, welcoming back the agricultural kami. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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