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©2024 Kapow Primary

www.kapowprimary.com

Shinto shrines

Click on each part to find out more about it.

Enter the shrine

©2024 Kapow Primary

www.kapowprimary.com

Shinto shrines

Click on each part to find out more about it.

Exit the shrine

Shimenawa rope is made from braided rice straw, often found at shrine entrances or around sacred objects. It signifies a boundary to something sacred and is usually adorned with white paper streamers (Shide).

The Torii gate is a distinctive and often red-coloured gate that marks the entrance to a Shinto shrine, symbolising the transition from the mundane to the sacred. Red, or vermillion, was believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits in Japan in ancient times.

The temizuya is a basin or fountain of water near the shrine's entrance where visitors cleanse their hands and mouth before approaching the kami, symbolising purification.

The shrine is usually a building with different areas for worship, offerings, prayers and donations.

Komainu are guardian dogs or foxes (depending on the shrine) often placed at the entrances, serving as guardians to ward off evil spirits and protect the sacred space.

Credit: John Steele / Alamy Stock Photo

In Shinto shrines, the presence of a kami is often symbolised by sacred objects or symbols placed in the shrine's innermost chamber, known as the honden. These objects are not worshipped as idols but are revered as yorishiro: they attract and are inhabited by the kami and emphasise the connection between worshippers and the natural and spiritual world.

Ema plaques are small wooden plaques on which individuals write prayers or wishes. These are hung at the shrine for the kami to receive them.

A gohei is a wooden wand with shide (zigzag paper streamers) attached. It is often used in rituals to invoke kami presence and blessings.

Credit: Peach Pics / Alamy Stock Photo

Omikuji are fortune-telling paper slips found at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan, which people draw to receive predictions about their future luck, ranging from great fortune to possible misfortune, along with advice on specific actions or decisions.