Raccoon dogs and tiny peeps

Heading on from Senso-ji we briefly admire this impressive copper statue of the 9th Danjuro Ichikawa the famous kabuki actor. He is shown in the role depicting “Shibaraku”.

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Then it’s onwards for more exploring of the winding streets of Asakusa, complete with colourful wall hangings and delightfully garish posters.

Now  we find ourselves exploring the curious little Chingodo Hall shrine.

The main feature of Chingodo Hall is commonly known as Otanuki-sama, the tanuki is a raccoon dog.

This cheeky little deity is believed to protect people and their homes from calamities like fire and theft but they also cause a lot of mischief – more on this later!

The hall is adorned with many of the traditional features that we have begun to love including these astounding origami chains.

The Tanuki , the racoon dog, features heavily in Japanese myth as shapeshifters and pranksters, they also have an interesting feature in the shape of their gigantic testicles!

Its magical expanding scrotum can be used  as sails for boats, fishing nets, umbrellas, swimming pools or even cloaks to smother an enemy.

Tanuki can disguise themselves as trees, stone lanterns, and even the moon. They also make noise, imitate sounds and generally lark about.

A slightly more sedate deity is this serene Buddha surrounded by tiny little followers.

Another beautiful purification fountain offers a soothing place to cool down and contemplate.

I love these teeny tiny little figures crowding around the base of the Buddha statue! They’re worth a closer look . ..

 

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