Whether it is a Buddhist temple or a Shinto shrine, an offertory box is placed wherever a deity resides. Japanese people would feel nothing strange about offering money when they visit shrines and temples. This is not a custom unique to Japan. China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong also have a similar custom, and there is a similar custom in Korea. But it may not be common outside of East Asia to offer money to the gods as a prayer fulfillment.
I have seen people offering Coca-Cola bottles in front of statues of supposed saints (Mexican saints seem to prefer Coke to alcohol) at Christian churches in minority areas of Mexico, but I have never seen people offering money in front of statues of Christ in normal cases. It seems that Christians do not have the same sense of "money offering" as we do in Japan.
In Italy, visitors to the Trevi Fountain throw money into the fountain, but I don't think that is part of the "money offering." Come to think of it, I threw coins into the Trevi Fountain when I visited Rome a long time ago, hoping to come back again, but that wish has yet to be fulfilled.
|Jul 2022 CHIBA PEOPLE|
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