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Friday, January 21, 2011

Sacred Tree


The trees are called Sakaki () - literally Sacred Tree in Japanese (Kanji/漢字), which are indispensable for Shinto ritual ceremonies. Branches are cut down from trees and decorated with shide (紙垂) strips of washi paper (Japanese paper), silk, or cotton, to serves as Tamagushi (玉串).


Dedicated Tamagushi in front of portable shrine


At any occasion of Shinto ritual ceremonies, Tamagushi is dedicated to a Shinto deity at Shrines and/or mikoshi (portable shrine). The top part of the branch is pointing towards you.

Note the orientation of Tamagushi.
The first B&W photo was taken with a Sigma DP1s and the rest of colors - with a Nikon D200 at Futaarayama shrine (二荒山神社), Utsunomiya city.

This is a Black and White Weekend, Shadow Shot Sunday #140, Scenic Sunday 131, and Photo Friday entry. This week's challenge for Photo Friday is "Tree".

     


Have a wonderful weekend.

28 comments:

  1. Great B+W, but also a good essay. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River.

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  2. The trees looks very interesting from this view of angle.
    I think that Sigma is a very good camera. I like the color photos too!
    Have a nice weekend!

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  3. confirmed! am going to tokyo form 3-9march, now pray hard the visa will be approved. i shall blog next week on what i wish and will cover. still planning the itinerary.

    am memorizing all the nice pics you have, of the angle, composition and sites.

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  4. This BW pic is simply amazing...

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  5. Lovely ritual and shrine too.

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  6. I love the lighting on the Sacred Tree image

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  7. I really enjoy coming here and learning about your beautiful customs.

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  8. I start to read about Shinto and about your winter celebrations and rituals!
    This Way of the Gods lead us to ourself, to our innerself where I believe that we have to find the purity of nature!
    Thank you!
    I wish you a great weekend!

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  9. A great black & white photo, and fascinating information too.

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  10. tiene usted un blog hermoso!
    saludos!

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  11. A very interesting post and a fantastic monochrome.

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  12. The tree looks larger than life indeed.

    Please have a good weekend you all.

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  13. Interesting tradition! This is the first time I have ever heard of Tamagushi.

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  14. A delightful, informative post! Especially love the monochrome tones!

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  15. Lovely picture of the threes...;-D

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  16. gorgeous Yoshi...I like to think of every tree as sacred...same as every human being!

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  17. The tree is pruned with care and with a purpose. It can be thought that nature has a sacred purpose, that we too often forget. The shrine has a delicate view, to visit a place of such beauty looks to be a real honor...

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  18. Fantastic captures for the day, Yoshi, as always! What a beautiful place and it would indeed be an honor to visit there! Enjoy your weekend!

    Sylvia

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  19. Beautiful shadow shots.

    Soft shade of shadows at Nostalgic Marvelingplease come and see. Have a great weekend!

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  20. I love the textures in that first shot - perfect in monochrome.

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  21. The shrine is beautiful and the ritual so interesting to learn about. It amazes me how much of nature is used in these types of rites. Your first shot in B and W is wonderful. I like both the color and B and W, but that first shot is my favorite of the series.

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  22. Yoshi you have a most beautiful perspective with your photos. the magnificent living tree alongside that which was cut down. this is a superb photo. the shadows and all. and I'm really into these rituals and ceremonies you write about. I feel how respectful of tradition it is and that's breathtaking. have a beautiful weekend Yoshi!

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  23. at first I read "scared" instead of sacred :D I'm so drawn at the first photo, how the trees are so visible even in B&w...great piece of history to go with it too.

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  24. I am really enjoying all your beautiful photos and especially your explanations! I'll show this to my husband tomorrow. I know he's going to love this.

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  25. I loved reading about the tree. I learned something and I have you to thank for enlightening me.

    Beautiful photo share.

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  26.  こんばんは、過日は書き込みを有難うございました。Non@北関東の山歩きです。目を惹く写真がたくさんありますね! (私は笑顔の横顔が印象に残りましたが、最初にGizelleさんのコメントと同じことを思いました ^^;)
     また、これだけ世界の方からコメントをもらえると、掲載し甲斐もありそうです。栃木に特化しておられる点もすごいですね。
     ところで、私のゲストブックにお返事を書きましたので、ひとまず目を通していただけると幸いです。

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  27. Great photos AND your blog is very informative.

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日本語でのコメント大歓迎です。