Foxes at Inari Shrine(JINS_1409)

Foxes are a messenger of Inari Deity

More than 30,000 Inari Shrines exist in Japan. Inari means “rice grows” and the deity of good harvest is enshrined. When you visit an Inari shrine, you’ll see figures of foxes placed at the entrance because they are a messenger of the Inari deity and acting as a guardian as well.

Among many of Inari Shrines in Japan, Sasuke Inari Shrine in Kamakura is very unique: thousands of fox figures of white ceramics are placed here and there on the precincts, creating a photogenic view in white, red and green colors as shown on the photos. People dedicate a white ceramics figure of fox to the shrine, wishing for success in business or promotion in their company because the shrine is believed to have brought a divine help to Minamoto Yoritomo who thus opened the 1st Shogunate in 12th century.

by Jin Shibata

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