29 October, 2005

Shrine on the roof

This is not related to walking but is very "Tokyonese" scene, so I'd like to show you. This photo is the view from the office where Shige is working, which is located near the Tokyo station. Can you see a small shrine on the roof of a building? Sometime we can find such shrines in Tokyo, or urban area of Japan. Can you imagine why this shrine is on the roof?

As everybody well knows, church of Christianity or mosque of Islam are the place to pray and the place for missionary work. But, shrine of Shinto (Japanese indigenous religion) is not. Shrine is the place to enshrine "gods" who live there. If someone bought a land for making the building and found there was a shrine, he/she could be recognized as a invader by "gods" who lived there. So he/she would rebuild a new shrine for them on the roof of the new building. I heard that some building have the pipe which is filled with soil from the ground to the roof top shrine. The building owner can say "I've never invaded You. Your house is same as before!".

That is why this shrine is located on the roof of the building although nobody can't come there. Isn't it interesting?

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