Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine

Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Fushimi Inari Taisha fox, Fushimi Inari Taisha Kitsume, Inari Shinto, Inari Shrine, Japanese Shrines, Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach, Fushimi Inari Taisha has over ten thousand torii, torii traditional Japanese gates, torii gates

View through Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine toriis

Nestled in at the base of Kyoto’s Fushimi-ku mountain named Inari is one of Japan’s most popular shrines, Fushimi-Inari Taisha.  Serving as the head shrine for as many as 32,000 Japanese Inari’s shrines, Fushimi-Inari Taisha becomes almost like a pilgrimage location every New Year.

Fushimi Inari Shrine was founded in 711 by the Hata family in honor to it principal deity, Ukanomitama-no-Mikoto – the goddess of rice and food.  With Imperial sponsorship starting during the early Heian Period (794 to 1185), the shrine’s importance in Japan’s socio-political structure became solidified during the mid 960’s.  In 965 Emperor Murakami declared that all significant events be presented in heihaku to the guardian kami of Japan (or guardian spirits of Japan) to 16 shrines, one of which being Fushimi Inari Taisha.

The growth and importance of Inari focused on its core belief system and that Inari is the god of rice.  Prior to circulation of money, Japan measured prosperity or wealth based on rice.  As Inari became more popular, it became recognized as the patron of business and through worship, wealth.  As a sign of gratitude, individuals or business would donate a torii to the shrine.  The Fushimi Inari Taisha has over ten thousand torii, or traditional Japanese gates.  The gates represent transition between the profane and sacred.

Throughout Fushimi Inari Taisha fox statues can be found on guard.  Kitsune, the foxes, are considered to have superior intelligence and magical powers.  In Inari, the kitsune zenkos (good foxes) are believed to be benevolent, celestial and served as messengers for Inari, the deity for rice and wealth.  The red votive bib called a yodarekake.

Fushimi Inari station on Keihan Line or JR Inari station from Kyoto station.
Tel: 075 641 7331
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto.
Free Admission.
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Jim Caldwell
Redondo Beach

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