Japanese people have worn variations on woven straw sandals for over a thousand years. The simplest ones, known as warazori, slipped over the foot and were worn for daily labor. Waraji had (and still have) ties to secure the shoe around the ankle, making them better suited for pilgrimages and other long-distance travel. People sometimes offered, or presented, waraji to Buddhist temples as a prayer for strength, either to work or to complete a special pilgrimage or journey. Sometimes the sandals were normal-sized, but in some cases – like the giant 0-waraji that adorn the back side of the hozomon at Tokyo’s Senso-ji – the sandalsRead more
Susan Spann is the award-winning author of the Hiro Hattori mystery novels, featuring ninja detective Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo.
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(To read Part 1, click here.) Like many Shintō shrines in Japan, Nezu Jinja features a subshrine dedicated to Inari Ōkami, the kami (god) of foxes, rice, sake, fertility, swordsmiths, merchants, agriculture, and worldly success (among other things). There are over 10,000 Inari shrines across Japan — and with good reason, given Japan’s historical dependence upon rice as a primary source of food (and, at one time, as the measure of wealth as well).Read more
Praise for the Hiro Hattori Novels
Spann keeps getting better . . . a taut closed-circle mystery with perilous consequences. Fans of classic whodunits will be pleased.
July, 2017 Publisher's Weekly review of BETRAYAL AT IGA
Spann once more shows herself as a master storyteller. A nail-biting tale of ninja assassins and a man who must choose between honor and his family in feudal Japan.
New York Times–bestselling author of the Aimée Leduc Investigations
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