Ootoyo Jinja’s Guardian Mice

I’ve blogged before about Ootoyo Jinja (sometimes romanized “Otoyo Jinja”), one of my favorite Shinto shrines on Kyoto’s famous Philosopher’s Path. Today, we’re heading back to Ootoyo Jinja, to take a look at the history behind its famous guardian mice. The shrine that belongs to Okuninushi features not only a stone torii but a pair of guardian mice watching over the holy space. The one on the left has a sake bowl–a symbol of health and fertility. (Pregnant women worship here in hopes of ensuring a healthy baby.) Had you ever heard the story of Okuninushi and the field mouse? I first read it as a child, in a

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