Two large, pure white lanterns were hung at the magnificent gate of the Hachiman Daijinja Shrine

Large white lanterns at Hachiman Daijinja Shrine
Large lanterns at Hachiman Daijinja Shrine
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In Japan, which has a strong affinity with animism, many things have been considered yokai since ancient times. While the existence of God is found in all things, negatively understood entities and phenomena are inextricably linked to yokai. Nevertheless, there are many yokai that are not well understood as to which part of the yokai was negatively grasped, such as Narukama, a yokai with a cauldron head and an ema in its hand, and Karakasa-kozo, a yokai with an umbrella. These yokai may have been feared in the beginning, but as time went by, they seem to have become objects of amusement.

Another yokai that is similarly unknown is the lantern ghost. When I visited Hachiman Daijinjya Shrine in Mitaka and saw pure white lanterns hanging at the magnificent gate, I thought of the lantern ghost. I am not sure what was so revered about the yokai, which was so popular that it was even depicted in ukiyoe paintings by Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Kuniyoshi. It is true that the lanterns were deformed by the way they split open at the top and bottom, with the broken parts forming a mouth and a long tongue protruding from it. But the lantern itself is a useful item that illuminates one's feet in the dark. If anything, I almost think it is a character from a fable that one should not judge a person by his or her appearance.

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PHOTO DATA

No

12321

Shooting Date

May 2022

Posted On

July 9, 2022

Modified On

July 10, 2022

Place

Mitaka, Tokyo

Genre

Architectural Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

ZEISS LOXIA 2/35

Where is Hachiman Daijinja Shrine?

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