In My Next Life, I Definitely Want To Come Back As A Shinto God

Seriously, which would you rather have? Long-faced celibate guys in brown robes or strapping Japanese dudes in fundoshi (see above)? It’s fall festival season here in Japan right now, and it’s the duty of every neighborhood to take the local gods out and show them a good time. Fortunately, Shinto gods do not go in for that fasting and scourging business. They are all about eat (mitarashi dango!), drink (sake and beer, most definitely not in moderation) and be merry (dancing in the streets, shouting WA SHOI)!

That little golden house my local bucks are carrying is the local god’s home-away-from-home. Several times a year, it’s a good idea to remind His Deity-ness of the people and shops and houses in his fiefdom, so this o-mikoshi is carried up and down the streets with much fanfare.

Forget the fasting and burnt offerings – Shinto gods prefer gooey pounded rice balls slathered with sweet miso sauce.

Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery seriespublished by Penguin/Intermix.

Published by Penguin/Intermix