The more I learn about Japan, the more fascinated I am. It is a conservative country, with customs and traditions kept over centuries, but at the same time a culture that accepts change and new ideas in areas considered taboo in most other cultures.
I wonder, what other culture or religion than Shinto would accept a phenomenon like the Lucky Star from the Washinomiya Shrine?
The Washinomiya Shrine, located in Kuki, Saitama (north of Tokyo), is one of the oldest shrines in the Kanto region. It is also one of the most beautiful shrines I visited but, like many others, it would probably have remained unknown…
But Kagami Yoshimizu, a manga author born in Satte, a nearby town, choose right this shrine as the main location for two characters from his best selling manga, Lucky Star. Following the huge success of the books and the ensuing television anime series, the August 2007 number of the popular Newtype magazine was publishing indications on how to visit the Washinomiya Shrine. So, a true otaku fan pilgrimage started and, over time, the fans brought to the shrine anime themed ema and they built even a Lucky Star mikoshi, which participates at festivals next to the traditional ones!
Photographed here is the Washinomiya Shrine torii (which also appears in the opening sequences of the anime series)…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: