I’ve told you guys before how matsuri—festivals—in Japan are strange. These old fellas appear to be having a good time. The middle one is suppose to be a fox. This is from Toyokawa Inari, and foxes are the guardians of or at least the messengers for Inari. There are thousands of fox everything all over this place. Like here.
Tag Archives | Toyokawa Inari
Toyokawa Inari is the common name for 円福山 豊川閣 妙厳寺 (Enpukuzan Toyokawa-kaku, Myogon-ji), or simply 妙厳寺 (Myogon-ji) for short, a temple in Toyokawa City, Aichi.
A distraction for a few moments from the horror of the earthquake. As Marge said in Lisa vs Malbu Stacy, Now, let’s forget our troubles with a big bowl of strawberry ice cream!1 I don’t have ice cream to offer you, but I do have this photo of a cute, terrifying Japanese monster. With pink cheeks. He may be a pokemon, but as I actually have no idea about pokemon, that’s just guess.
I don’t do a lot of people photography. It’s not that I don’t like it—far from it; in fact, people photos are among my favorites. The reason I don’t do a lot is because I don’t like the idea of secretly photographing people, either with a zoom lens or with a hidden camera. Most of the people photography you come across on the Internet is done in one of those ways. This is nothing new; even in the film days most people photography was taken in secret. Flip through an old film camera magazine and will find ads where you can order special bodies with bent mirrors so you point the body straight ahead, but secretly the viewfinder shows you what is to your left and photos that.
This was taken at Toyokawa Inari Shrine. I’ve written before that one of the tell-tale signs of an Inari Shrine is that it features multiple torii gates in a row. The most famous example of this is Fushimi Inari in Kyoto. Often when people donate a certain amount of money they get a torii gate with their name. At Toyokawa Inari, however, they use flags instead. As a result, just about every single path is lined with hundreds of flags. Not as cool looking as multiple torii gates, I think, but still a neat effect.
Man, that’s a big koi!
As many of you may know, in Japan Xmas is a rather minor holiday. Perhaps the young embrace it more than the old, and those who think Western things are better than Japanese, but on the whole it isn’t that important. What is important, however, is New Years, or oshogatsu (oh-sho-gah-tsu).
What the heck? Yeah, I know. Wait—let me explain. The photo you see below is from the recent Toyokawa Autumn Festival, which I have talked about a few times before (no worries—link after the photo). For reasons that are not entirely clear to me (I can guess tho… more below), one of their chosen celebrations was to spell out inari and the year with Inari Sushi, that is, pockets of deep fried tofu stuffed with rice (a good, but very sweet sushi).
These paper lanterns are from Toyokawa’s autumn festival several weeks back. They read taisai or big festival. This particular festival is something of a lantern festival—in fact, one of the festival names is chochin matsuri, chochin being the name of this kind of lantern & matsuri meaning festival, so lantern festival! But you will usually see these kind of lanterns at almost all festivals.
I don’t have any Japan Christmas photos. Sorry—I guess I never thought to take any of the colonel in his Santa outfit (yes, it’s kind of common to see at KFCs around here… google it). But Christmas is a festival of sorts, so I thought this photo fit.
On that note: Merry Christmas, everyone!! Thank you very very much for your support of JapanDave.com over this past year. I hope you all have a great holiday with your families.
See more shots from Toyokawa Inari.
JapanDave Christmas Giveaway
And if you really don’t like Facebook (and believe me, I completely understand), be sure to sign up for the newsletter. The next issue will contain a link to the same gift.
Once again, Merry Christmas!
I was asked the other day if I ever did anything other than HDR photography. Of course I do. I usually only post HDR to this blog in part because that is what people have come to expect from me, but I do occasionally post some non-HDR images. I also have an entire other blog set up for a more lo-fi type of photography from my iPhone.
The fox is, of course, the sign we are dealing with an Inari Shrine, a Shinto Shrine that is dedicated to the kami Inari, the god of good fortune, good rice harvest, success in business, and a whole host of related things. The fox is the messanger, so be nice to him. I think I discovered their meeting place in today’s photo.
Origami has become pretty popular all over the world, so I’m sure you all know how to make folding cranes, or have at least seen them before. Have you seen strings of a thousand before, though? It is relatively common in Japan. Called senbazuru (千羽鶴) you are likely to see them in all kinds of places.