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Tokyo 2 / Togakushi 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 // Ninja Village

These are at Chusha Jinja, but as you approach any Shinto Shrine, you are likely to see these two figures, referred to as "Lion Dogs". Looking in the same direction as they face, the one on the left (your right in these photos) represents the material world (Matrix Realm). His jaws are open and making the "ahhh" sound. The one on the right (left photo) represents the Diamond World of Pure Wisdom, and his jaws are closed and making the "vmmm" sound.
. . ."Vmmm" is the seed syllable of the esoteric Buddhist (Mikkyo) Taizokai Mandala, and "ahhh" is the seed syllable of the esoteric Buddhist Kongokai Mandala. Together they represent "aahh-oohh-mmm-nnn", the Jumon vow and mantra of the totality of the universe.

Another thing you will see as you near a Shinto shrine is a basin with flowing water and wooden ladles. In the past, believers practiced "misogi,", the washing of their bodies in a river near the shrine. Nowadays you only need rinse out your mouth and maybe splash face and hands. This is the basin at Chusha Jinja where you do this. The basins constantly fill and overflow with a stream of fresh water. Note the twisted straw Shimenawa and the zig-zag shide.

Each day after breakfast we'd walk up to Chusha Jinja for some training. That's Stephen K. Hayes second over from the right hand side in the left photo and with the bokken (training sword) in the right photo.

This is what Chusha Jinja looks like on a sunny day. This was taken in 1988 a few days after the snow.

Tokyo 2 / Togakushi 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 // Ninja Village