05/04/2013

Neko Jinja - cat shrines

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Neko Jinja, Neko-jinja 猫神社 / ネコ神社   cat shrines



There are many shrines in Japan with this name, for example in

Fukui
Kagoshima
Kochi
Miyagi
Tokyo


The "Beckoning Cat" is a favorite talsiman.



. Manekineko, maneki neko 招き猫 beckoning cat .


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Fukui 福井 - 羽衣神社 Hagoromo Jinja / Horoha Jinja 袋羽神社



Nekozuka san 猫塚さん Cat Mount Shrine
Parents come there to pray if their young children cry in the night and pray for their safe upbringing.

horoha no Ookami 袋羽大神 Horoha no Okami

福井県福井市宝永4-8-1
This is a sub-shrine of Shinmei Jinja 神明神社 in Fukui town.
Horoha Shrine dates back to 1645

There is also a memorial stone for Horoha Daigongen 袋羽大権現碑.
The samurai Kawasumi 川澄角平 expelled a cat which appeared in the figure of his wife and had this stone erected to thank the deity for its help.


(Nekozuka is also the name of some kofun 猫塚古墳 grave mounds, for example in Miyagi and Nara.)

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Kagoshima 鹿児島 - Nekogami Jinja 猫神神社

- Reference -




Nekogami Jinja (the Cat’s God Shrine)
is part of the vast gardens at Sengan-en, the 17th-century estate of the dynastic Shimadzu family in Kagoshima, Japan. Like Shinto shrines throughout Japan, the cat shrine has a torii gate, a stone shrine for paying tribute, and a cleansing water fountain with bamboo ladle—only everything is much smaller. Also, at the very center of the stone shrine sit tiny ceramic effigies of two cats—two rather special cats.

Sometime around the year of 1592, Yoshihiro (the 17th Lord of Shimadzu) sailed from Kyushu to Korea on a military venture. Along with his entourage, he carried seven cats—not as pets, but as furry, meowing clocks. Yoshihiro’s cats were special because you could tell the time by looking into their eyes. Over the course of a day, the pupil in the cats’ eyes changed with the sun. Each cat was matched to certain times, specifically 6:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., noon, 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., and this is how Yoshihiro’s armada kept time with military precision during his long campaign.

Alas, not all survived the long journey to and from Korea. In the end, only two cats made it back to Kagoshima alive. In gratitude to these cats’ service and loyalty, the Shimadzu lord built a shrine to them in 1602. After the Meiji Restoration (1868), the Shimadzu family relocated to their 75-room summer “villa” and the cat shrine moved with them. To this day, it is still an observed site of devotion dedicated to all cats—also, bizarrely, clocks.
source : Andrew Evans


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Miyagi - Tashirojima 田代島 Tashiro Island

is a small island in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan. It lies in the Pacific Ocean off the Oshika Peninsula, to the west of Ajishima. It is an inhabited island, although the population is quite small (around 100 people, down from around 1000 people in the 1950s[1]). It has become known as "Cat Island" due to the large stray cat population that thrives as a result of the local belief that feeding cats will bring wealth and good fortune. The cat population is now larger than the human population on the island.

Cat shrine



There is a small cat shrine, known as Neko-jinja (猫神社?), in the middle of the island, roughly situated between the two villages. In the past, the islanders raised silkworms for silk, and cats were kept in order to keep the mouse population down (because mice are a natural predator of silkworms). Fixed-net fishing was popular on the island after the Edo Period and fishermen from other areas would come and stay on the island overnight. The cats would go to the inns where the fishermen were staying and beg for scraps. Over time, the fishermen developed a fondness for the cats and would observe the cats closely, interpreting their actions as predictions of the weather and fish patterns. One day, when the fishermen were collecting rocks to use with the fixed-nets, a stray rock fell and killed one of the cats. The fishermen, feeling sorry for the loss of the cat, buried it and enshrined it at this location on the island.

There are at least ten cat shrines in Miyagi Prefecture. There are also 51 stone monuments in the shape of cats, which is an unusually high number compared to the other prefectures. In particular, these shrines and monuments are concentrated in the southern area of the island, overlapping with the regions where silkworms were raised.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Tokushima - 猫神社 - O-Matsu Daigongen お松大権現 




Even a cat komainu




. komainu, koma inu 狛犬 "Korean Dog" shrine guardian .


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Tokyo, Imado Jinja 今戸神社



It is very famous for the birth place of fortune cat (招き猫, manekineko), and last place of Soji Okita (沖田総司), the greatest samurai warrior of Shinsengumi (新撰組).
Now, it is well known as good luck shrine for love and marriage.
There are many good luck items for love and marriage with fortune cat.

. Tokyo, Imado Shrine 今戸神社 Imado jinja .


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- Reference : 猫神社

- Reference : neko jinja


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- - - - -  H A I K U  - - - - -

ボブ猫神社 Bob Neko Jinja - Asagao Town アサガオ町



Bob Neko collects Haiku at the shrine

ボブ猫の俳句
- Reference : asogao.com/bobneko


. WKD : Cats and Haiku .






. Omamori お守り Cat Amulets .


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There are also nekodera, neko tera ネコ寺 猫寺 Cat Temples.
(TBA)



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