Shinto shrine

The Shinto

This is our next installment of “Gifts from My Teacher” where we are sharing about traditional Japanese items that are often part of martial art dojos (schools).

The center focus and primary object on the Kamidana is the Shinto, a small shrine or temple that looks like a small house. Our Shinto (according to Japanese tradition) houses the spirit of the dojo.

Our shrine, received from my teacher, is an antique from the Edo Period (1603 – 1867 C.E.) and is over 150 years old!

According to the stories told in Japan, whenever a household object turns 100 years old, it acquires a soul and becomes wise and mature. It also gains body parts according to legend – try picturing a broom or kitchen utensils with legs and a face. They are harmless and usually just play pranks on their owners, goofing around, but that’s about it. So far, we haven’t noticed any pranks of goofing around!

We will talk more about the other items gifted by my teach with the Kamidana in upcoming blog posts.

Sinto shrine
Shinto Shrine

Caveat Lector: We at the Shin Gan Dojo / Urban Defense Academy do not require anyone to show reverence to any deity, god or spirit whatsoever. Please don’t confuse our respect for the Japanese culture as Spiritual Worship. This blog is only an attempt to explain the items and their meaning as it relates to how the Japanese people view them. We are not an expert on this topic. We do, on the contrary bow to each other as a matter of good etiquette and respect, identical to offering one’s hand to shake.

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