What not to do when you visit Jinja in Japan

February 4, 2016 Juju Kurihara Culture, news, Trip Tags: , , , , , 1 Comment

How was your new year? The New Year has full of traditional events in Japan. Hatsumode (初詣) is probably the first thing people do in the morning of the 1st of January. There, people wish many things for the year; Please I can go to XXX University. Please I can get the contract from XXX company. Please I can have a boyfriend… OK, this may sound greedy but at least we know that shrines are still holly places for the modern Japanese people. 


But I´ve seeing a little disappointing articles online. People are hurting beautiful shrines, which have been in Japan for centuries. Apparently people started sticking the coins into the pillars of the historical iinja.  



Perhaps some of you have been to Itsukushima Jinja (厳島神社). This shrine was believed to be built in 593 and the Torii (鳥居) we see now is the 8th, which was built in 1875. The main pillars are 500-600-year-old camphor trees. 

According to the shrine authority, it´s just started among tourists that it would give them a good luck to thrust coins into the cracks, which is not true. There are also some foreign coins. 




Have you been up to the Mt. Fuji? If so, have you noticed this?


I don´t think all of these are done by foreign tourists. Because they must have heard by a Japanese or seen any Japanese doing it. But remember, all Japanese people are doing things right as you see in your own country.



Izumotaisha (出雲大社) is also a victim of this strange belief. Visiters throw the coins and try to stick them in the shimenawa (しめ縄/ sacred rope) .



Izumotaisha has then published this matter in their website as a FAQ to stop people doing this.  

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 23.59.19

出雲大社ホームページ-よくあるご質問 ーより引用


Q13. Is it true that it gives you a good luck if the coin you throw sticks in the sacred rope?

A. The sacred rope is used to indicate the world of the god and it´s a holy rope. Throwing the coins at the rope is very rude to the god. Therefore, it can´t be good luck.


Like many other things, this rumour came up from nowhere. But what true is, people are hurting the property. Getting a good luck by destroying others/other things can´t be a good deed, can it? So when you go to Itsukushima Jinja or Izumotaisha or any other temples and shrines, please don´t screw a coin into the Torii or shimenawa. Just throw it into saisen-bako (賽銭箱)





Osaisen problem: https://twitter.com/chilime/status/676698419633631237

Itsukushima jinja : https://www.instagram.com/p/Vv8sk/?taken-by=kayopppppee

Mt.Fuji : https://twitter.com/syusugi/status/410041397735993344

sticking coins : http://togetter.com/li/599143

Please don´t stick coins : http://baka-soku.blog.jp/archives/1553754.html

Asahi News : http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20131209-00000041-asahi-soci 

izumo taisha : https://twitter.com/mapsotyo/status/676691581307453440

Wrong way to visit shrines in Japan : http://grapee.jp/125715

Itsukushima jinja´s concern : http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2138660233142768501

Ootorii, Itsukushima Jinja : http://baka-soku.blog.jp/archives/1553754.html



Subscribe for Newsletter? : HERE  

1 Comment

  1. James 7 years Reply

    Where is the common sense these days? The authorities need to put signs up saying it brings bad luck, that should go some way to stopping these ignorant people.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *