Apr 5, 2015

The altar of the secondary shrine

 This is the inside of the secondary shrine, the altar, so to speak. There are three relatively small stones. All of them seem to have been shaped, that is they do not look like natural shapes. The one in the front is broken into two pieces. On the left you can see three ten-yen coins. These are worth about US$0.25. On the right are some small pieces of wrapped candy.

 I find it interesting that the offerings on shrine altars and at other Shinto related places are seldom taken. The money will probably still be there the next time I visit. Around 20 years ago, however, after the economic bubble broke, there were a lot of homeless people and at that time the bottles of sake and soft drinks that people left as offerings started to disappear. So an adjustment was made, people started opening the drinks before leaving them. I asked someone about  this and was told that it was done to make it easier for the spirits to drink them. Personally, I found it telling that this change from closed to open came just at the time that people started stealing the drinks, no matter what the justification.
I left the secondary shrine and walk around to the back of the main shrine. Another problem that has started to appear as people become less involved in Shinto is that some people will actually invade the sanctity of the altar. I do not know whether this is out of curiosity or devilry but it has lead to what you can see in this picture. Many shrines now have fences around the buildings with barbed wire on the top of the fence.

No comments: