Monday, December 13, 2010

The phallic stones of Asuka Nimasu Shrine

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There is a collection of phallic stones at the Asuka Nimasu Shrine that I would guess have been collected from the surrounding area.

A few of them are paired with a "female" stone.

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I think there is a good chance that these, or some of them at least, are Dosojin.

Dosojin, sometimes called Sainokami, were phallic stones placed at the roadside at community borders.

Often referred to as protective deities of travellers, their original use seems to be protecting the village from evil/pollution rather than protecting travellers.

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Later the dosojin became rocks carved with a male-female couple, and later still Jizo statues took over some of their functions.

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In some places Sarutahiko is associated with Dosojin.

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2 comments:

  1. Please excuse the random comment, but I was immediately reminded of the phallic statues of Hermes which appear to have had a similar function. I'm always fascinated by similarities between cultures that seem disparate.

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  2. not a random comment at all, pertinent in fact.
    I think fertility has played a huge part in most cultures..... while Japan is unique, its not uniquely unique...

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