Sunday, November 26, 2023

Togitsu Yutoku Inari Shrine


Not far from the Honjin I discovered in Togitsu I encountered a small Inari Shrine.

Apparently, it is a branch of the famous Yutoku Inari Shrine not far away in southern Saga and not a branch of the head Inari shrine Fushimi Inari near Tokyo.

As with almost all Inari shrines, there were fox guardian statues. Though Inari is often mistakenly referred to as a "fox god", the foxes are messengers of Inari, not representations of Inari

There were multiple vermillion torii, though no actual "tunnel" as at many Inari shrines.

Surprisingly all the ema depicted horses, as this was spring 2014, a "Horse Year".

There were multiple Inari shrines in the grounds. Inari is well known for being a "peronalized" kami that exists in thousands of thousands of different forms.

The Chinses style guardian lion was unusual, though not too surprising as this was Nagasaki.

Thet two main representations of Inari are either as an old man carrying rice, or, as seen here, as a young maiden on the back of a white fox.

This representation has connections with the primarily Buddhist identity of Inari as Dakiniten.

Inari is sometimes connected to Benzaiten, another goddess with heavy Buddhist-shinto cross-over, and that may be behind the small figurine of the white snakes wrapped around the jewel of wisdom.

The previous post in this series on day 64 of my walk around Kyushu was on Togitsu.


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