Mythology, Shinto

Tomoe: What does it mean?

If you are familiar with Shinto or Japanese culture at all, you will most likely have seen the tomoe symbol. Tomoe,  (巴 or 鞆絵, とも) is a Japanese symbol that is widely accepted as the symbol of Shinto. 'Tomoe' can roughly be translated as 'comma', with mitsu-tomoe meaning 'three commas'. The mitsu-domoe is the version usually… Continue reading Tomoe: What does it mean?

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Mythology, Shinto

Japanese Folklore in Pokémon

If you are on the internet at all these days, you'll notice the huge craze that is Pokémon Go! Pokémon has been around for over 20 years and has brought joy to countless children and adults alike. However, being Japanese, there are a huge amount of pokémon in the franchise with references to Shinto, Buddhism,… Continue reading Japanese Folklore in Pokémon

Deities, Kami, Mythology, Shinto

Protecting the Gates: Shrine Guardians

Today I am going to talk about many of the guardian animals associated with Shinto. When visiting a Shinto shrine, one of the first things one sees are a pair of foxes, lion-dogs or other creatures. Lion Dogs (Komainu) Komainu translates to 'Korean dog' or 'Foreign dog'. It is believed that they came from the… Continue reading Protecting the Gates: Shrine Guardians

Matsuri, Moon, Mythology

Otsukimi (月見)

Otsukimi is the Japanese Moon Viewing festival - a version of the Mid Autumn Festival of China (中秋節). As this event is based on the lunar calender the date changes every year. However, it is always on the full moon of September. This year it falls on the 27th-28th September, depending where you are in the… Continue reading Otsukimi (月見)

Mythology, Shinto

Shinto Cosmology

Today I will talk about the Japanese creation story. This myth can change depending on various sources and so can be moulded to fit various sects of the Shinto faith. Before you begin reading, I feel it is important to state that this is very heavily referenced from the internet. However, I felt this is an… Continue reading Shinto Cosmology