The Dog Blessing Shrine
Japan isn’t short on shrines that cure warts, protect your electronics from the forces of eviltude, and jumpstart your career as a manga artist, but this is the first one I’ve heard of that has a ceremony for blessing your dog!
Shrines and temples do a booming business banishing bad luck from people mired in their periodic three-year-long yakudoshi (“bad luck years”), but the priests at Ichigaya Hachiman will turn away the slings and arrows of outrageous bad fortune from your faithful shiba too.
One burning question remains, however: are shiba yakudoshi measured in dog years or human years?
Photos and info about dog blessing ceremony from the May 2014 issue of Shi-ba magazine.
Jonelle Patrick is the author of the Only In Tokyo mystery series, published by Penguin/Intermix.