March 23, 2010

Offering Coins and Rice


The coins and rice are offerings for the stone images of Buddha. These stone images are set inside the grounds of Yakumo Shrine. It's been here since 1778, the Anei Era.

Usually the rice is offered first, because rice is the source of life for us. Many people also offer coins, especially the 5yen coin (the one with the hole). The Japanese word for '5yen' is 'Go-yen,' which is similar to the word 'Go-en,' which means 'fate' or 'luck.' So because of this play on words, many people offer a 5yen coin at shrines.

10 comments:

Lois said...

That is so interesting! I don't think I have ever seen a coin with a hole in it before.

Louis la Vache said...

Interesting play on words.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

I love the first image. It could be a post card or regular card. nicely done.

VP said...

I took the coins for some kind of tokens. I have to find one of those lucky 5 Yen coins!

Tall Gary said...

At first, for a moment, I was puzzled by the Shinto shimenawa rope with paper shide protecting Buddhist images then remembered that, until the Meiji Restoration of 1868, most shrines and temples were seen together in shrine/temple complexes. Although Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines were forced to separate after the Meiji Restoration we can see here a persistence of the ancient practice where they coexisted together.

I agree with Julie about the artistic merit of the top photo. In the bottom photo I love the contrast between modernity and clear evidence of ancient customs and practices still alive and breathing.

gogouci said...

I love reading your blog and learning about things like the spiritual significance of the common rice grain or coin. Thanks.

mia said...

I love how just one or two differences in the words in the Japanese language can affect the culture and tradition. Great photos!!

Kaori said...

Wow, I'm glad everyone enjoyed the bit of Japanese culture I was able to share :)

And thank you to Gary with the additional information!

arabesque said...

interesting story on this one, there's always something to learn about one's culture. ^0^

Babzy said...

Very interesting post , nice to learn about your traditions ;)

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