The guardian dog that sits in front of the cenotaph for the war dead at Okunitama Shrine is full of dignity

Guardian dog in front of the memorial for the war dead
Shot at Okunitama Shrine, a Shinto shrine in Fuchu, Tokyo ©Tetsu Ozawa
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Since ancient times, it has taken a lot of courage to row a boat out into the ocean, and there have been gods who protect the safety of voyagers in all ages. I guess courage alone is not enough for them. They needed someone to protect them.

In the West, there is a custom of attaching a figurehead to the bow of a ship to pray for safe voyages, and in China, there are many Mazu temples built along the coast to worship the goddess Mazu, the protector of navigation. And in Taiwan, where many people cross the Taiwan Strait by boat, there are also many Mazu temples.

Japan, on the other hand, has a long tradition of worshipping the spirits of ships. The origin of this belief seems to be quite old, and although there is no set rule as to whether or not there is a deity, the desire to protect the safety of voyagers has remained even in modern times, and it was customary for brave warships and naval vessels to have small shrines on board.

The warship Tama, which was sunk in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in 1944, also had a small shrine on board, where Okunitama no Ookami, the deity of Okunitama Shrine in Fuchu, was enshrined. As a result, a monument to the warship Tama was erected in the precincts of the Okunitama Shrine next to the monument to the loyal soldiers who died in the WWII. The torii gate and the guardian dogs towering in front of it were majestic.

日本語
Nov 2021 STILL LIFE TOKYO

Where is Okunitama Shrine?

PHOTO DATA

No

12097

Shooting Date

Jul 2021

Posted On

November 21, 2021

Place

Fuchu, Tokyo

Genre

Still Life Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF

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