Feb 13, 2014

Arahito Shrine interior

 This is the interior of the Arahito Shrine. The yellowish things hanging down from the horizontal pole at the top are bunches of rice stalks with the grains still attached. The purple things at the front right are folding chairs. There was obviously some sort of ceremony, probably related to the New Year. On the left at the front is the donation box but it has a sheet of plastic across it. I have no idea why. Maybe they have a different way of giving donations at this timeof year. Deeper inside the shrine are boxes containing gifts from the people to the shrine. Common gifts are large bottles of sake and cases of beer. These are usually saved and used during ceremonies and festivals.
 This is the shrine from the front. You can clearly see the donation box in the middle of the open area.
Off a little way to the left of the shrine is a sumo dohyo, the dirt ring in which the sumo matches take place. Sumo is now a professional sport with many international competitors. At the moment the top ranks are mostly filled by Mongolians.

Here the contests are probably between children rather than adults, and represent the religious roots from which the professional sport developed.

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