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Oji-inari Shrine
Why Not Lift Up The Stone There?
Date:31, Jul, 2020
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Do you know anything about Oji-inari Shrine? Probably nothing. I think so. It doesn't mean that you are unlearned. The Tokyo shrine is not so popular, it is natural for most readers to have heard nothing about it. That's just my opinion.

Oji-inari Shrine stands in Oji, Tokyo. When was it built? No one knows because they have no historical materials left. One theory says it was founded before Heian era (794 – 1192). Oh, how old! By the way, Inari is an alias of foxes. You can see some stone images of foxes when you visit there.



Oji-inari Shrine

File: Oji Inari Shrine 201712.jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on December 21, 2017)


Tradition has it that countless foxes got together in the Oji district on New Year's Eve. Following the historical legend, they hold a disguise parade from New Year's Eve to New Year's Day every year. They disguise themselves as foxes and walk about in streets. It is Oji's popular local event.



The Fox Parade on New Year's Eve

File: Oji Kitsune no Gyoretsu4.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on Jan. 1, 2010)


In Shinto, they assume deities live in all materials like leaves, insects, paper and woods. Of course, it can be stones. The Oji-inari Shrine has Gankake-no Ishi (Stone for making a prayer to). Walk beside the main hall and go through several gateways, you can find a small shrine which contains a stone. It is the Gankake-no Ishi. You lift up the stone with making a prayer. If you feel heavier than you expect, the wish is hard to be true. It is going to come true if you feel lighter, said they.

You might laugh. But about 82% of the globe's cubic volume consist of rocks called Peridotite. The earth is the planet that contains silicon most in the solar system. And stones also include silicon. Without rocks, the globe doesn't exist. It is not mysterious to assume deities exist as stones, I suppose.






 

Kanayago Shrine
Enshrines the Kanayago-gami in Shimane