Subete no kamigami no jinja

At the Shrine of All Deities in Kyoto, all gods, goddesses, household deities, gods and goddesses of human activities (childbirth, fishing, war, and so forth), islands of the Japanese Archipelago, ancestors of the imperial family, deities of natural elements (wind, water, thunder, and so forth), and spirits of trees, meadows, and famous places, whether Ainu, Shinto, or Buddhist, are given at least a mention in rotation through a cycle of rituals and stories that takes eight years to complete. During our visit to the shrine, we spoke with staff member Koyuki. “We are neither Shinto nor Buddhist; neither are we Ainu; no; we are Japanese. All deities who care about Japan, who care for the people, the nature and the beauties of our islands, are the deities for whom we care.” At the tiny shop outside the red torii, we stopped to browse the gifts, which included the seven lucky gods, a wooden Happy Buddha, and Hello Kitty.