J a p a n e s e    C u l t u r e

Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Mirror in Shrine

Sometimes when praying at a Japanese shinto shrine, one can see oneself reflected in the mirror at the back of the shrine. At other times one can see the reflections of those standing nearby, as in this photograph. I don't think that it is important that any one be reflected in the mirror. Indeed it is possible that it is better that the mirror is empty. There is a ooth in Japanese to the effect that God (kami) is a "mirror" (kagami) without "me" ( or self or ego = "ga"). I claim tha the mirror in the Shrine is of central importance for understanding Japanese culture and that the Japanese have internalised the view point of society as a mirror.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.