Hounen Matsuri 1/7
Person praying at the shrine
In Komaki, a small town north of Nagoya, is a shrine called Tagata Jinja. A shrine is the holy place of the Shinto religion. Shinto is very much connected to nature. There are gods for everything.
The Tagata shrine is dedicated to the god named Mitoshi-no-Kami and godess named Tamahine-no-Mikoto. According to an ancient Japanese belief, mother earth has to be impregnated by father heaven, so that everything can grow and develop.
Local farmers come and pray for a good harvest at this shrine. Some believers ask for good birth or a healthy baby. You can't see images that represent God in a shrine, like the statues in Buddhist temples. The only things visible are symbols that represent the chores of a Shinto god.
Stone phallus, about one meter long
The symbols, made of wood or stone, in the Tagata shrine are phallic. There are lots of them, from tiny, small ones to very big ones. The symbol of fertility, they all stand erect.
Phallic sake set with two cups
This pottery set is a container for sake (rice wine) with two small cups. The phallus has a hole in the top to pour sake from. The center of each cup depicts a vagina. Who said drinking sake isn't fun?...