A very old Japanese superstition said that the evil spirits are coming from northeast. For protection, temples and shrines were built on the northeastern side of the towns, statues of foxes and monkeys were placed towards northeast (to act as guardians) and in some places ritual dances were performed to chase away the demons…
One of the most original results of this superstition is this gate, the northeast gate of the Kumamoto castle, which was kept… permanently closed. And because of this, in time the gate received the name Akazuno-mon, the “unopened gate".
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: