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Goddess Inari, also considered an aspect of Ukanomitama, is one of the main Shinto deities in Japan, possessing more than one thousand and two hundred altars and temples dedicated to her (not counting the small and homemade altars found on roads).
Rice planting is on the basis of Japanese culture and society, therefore Inari is one of the most revered Goddesses of all. She is also associated with prosperity and due to this she is also extremely venerated by merchants and people linked to industries.
The red colour is very present in her cult appearing in foxes, her most common symbol, and in the Torii present in places of devotion. Moreover, the
Attributes: Foxes, fertility, rice, tea, sake, prosperity, and success
Symbols: Red and white fox, sickle, rice and the colour, red
Goddess Inari – Goddess of Agriculture and Grains
Goddess Inari is closely linked to the cultivation of rice, agriculture and grains in general. She is represented in different ways, even as an elderly gentleman carrying sacks of rice. Her appearance depends greatly on one’s beliefs and traditions, making Inari a very personal deity.
The Goddess’s main symbols are the foxes and they are always found in pairs at the entrance of her temples. These statues usually have some items in their mouths or under a front paw. It can be a coin or a jewel and a key, but it can also be a branch of rice,
The main Inari temple is in Kyoto, in the Fushimi neighbourhood. The place is visited by many tourists and devotees, being one of the most characteristic places in Japan.
Goddess Inari – Goddess of Prosperity
Goddess Inari is also associated with prosperity in a general way, and in feudal Japan, she was the patroness of swordsmen and merchants, blessing farmers with a fertile crop every year.
There is a myth which tells that Inari descends from her mountain every year during spring, blessing the rice plantations. During this period, she takes the form of a young woman and sleeps with men. One of these men realized that he was sleeping with the Goddess when he saw a red and hairy tail through the sheets, but he did not say anything. Inari rewarded his discretion by doubling that year’s crop.
One of the main Shinto Deities
Inari is one of the greatest Shinto deities. In a way, all deities related to agriculture and prosperity are related to Inari.
Inside Inari’s temple in
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