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  • Takeshi Kazui

The Object in which God Inhabits 神ガ宿リシモノ

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

Goshintai 御神体

Shinkyō, a mirror in which a deity resides and is worshipped in Shintoism.

In Shintoism, a Goshintai 御神体 is an object in which a god/deity resides and is worshipped: a rock, a tree, a mountain, and so on. In a typical Shinto shrine, a mirror Shinkyō 神鏡 is placed. So why a mirror? When I was a child, at my grandfather's funeral, a priest spoke about the place of the gods in which he said: "When you visit a shrine and pray to the deity, goshintai, what is the reflection in the mirror?" he said. "What you see in that mirror is you. In other words, those who are praying are communicating their wishes to themselves."

At Kōtai Jingū 皇大神宮, The Three Sacred Treasures, Sanshu-no-Jingi 三種の神器 are considered to be the same. Those are the imperial regalia of Japan and consist of the sword Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi 草薙劍, the mirror Yata-no-Kagami 八咫鏡, and the jewel Yasakani-no-Magatama 八尺瓊勾玉. They represent the three primary virtues: the sword is valour , the mirror is wisdom, and the jewel is benevolence. The actual status of these legendary treasures is unknown as they are intentionally kept from public view to symbolize authority.

On the other hand, there are strange places in the world, even in Japan, that have unusual goshintai. Today I will tell you about one of them.

Sickle Sickle Sickle Stuck in God

"Humans like beautiful things, good times, but sometimes we want to take risks and fears, without purpose."

An eerily large tree with countless sickles stuck in it at Kamahachimangu.

Kamahachimangū 鎌八幡宮 has no shrine. Shinto shrines have a set of torii, which are the pathways of the gods, and a shrine to enshrine goshintai 御神体, which are object of worship housed in a Shinto shrine and believed to contain the spirit of a god or deity , but there are many exceptions. That is a case where a goshintai is something else.

Kamahachimangū's goshintai is a tree, a strange tree. It is a large yew oak tree with countless sickles stuck in it in a dimly lit forest. These sickles were stabbed by visitors. Why is that? Is it people's anger? Resentment? Why do they stick countless sickles into the tree where the god resides? Is this god a terrible god? No, all incorrect.

An eerily large tree with countless sickles stuck in it at Kamahachimangu.

An eerily large tree with countless sickles stuck in it at Kamahachimangu.

Japan is a country of cutlery, and the sickle is a tool that has been familiar to the Japanese people since ancient times, and is especially indispensable for harvesting rice in the fall. However, here it is hammered into the great yew tree of the goshintai as a tool for wishing.

It is said that when the wish is fulfilled, it gradually penetrates deeper and deeper, but when it is not fulfilled, it falls out.

Kino River at sunset.

When I left there, it was lit up by the setting sun. Let's go home before the eerie dark night comes, before the demons come.

A Demon that Throws Blood Sickles Like a Boomerang

Do you like Japanese animation? I'm Japanese, but I don't watch much anime, except for one. That's Demon Slayer!! I can't wait to watch it every Sunday night.

Now, Tanjiro and his team are fighting powerful enemies. Sibling demons Daki 堕姫 and Gyutaro 妓夫太郎, Upper Rank 6 上弦の陸 in The Twelve Kizuki 十二鬼月. Gyutaro, Daki's brother, appeared in Demon Slayer the Sunday before last. His weapons are sickles, Flying Blood Sickles 飛血鎌 of Blood Demon Art 鬼血術, which the mere touch of it inflicts a fatal wound. It is a terrifying sickles. This fight to the death is a must see! The footage is amazing🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Check Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Season 2

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