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Religion Inari (稲荷)

Shinto goddess of rice, sake and fertility, she is associated with foxes ("kitsune") and red torii. Shrines dedicated to her, by far the most common of all shrines in Japan, are called Inari jinja. The largest Inari shrine in Japan is Kyoto 's Fushimi Inari Taisha.



Inari Ōkami (稲荷大神), also called Ō-Inari (大稲荷), is the Japanese kami of foxes, fertility, rice, tea and sake, agriculture and industry, general prosperity and worldly success[citation needed], and one of the principal kami of Shinto. In earlier Japan, Inari was also the patron of swordsmiths and merchants. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. Inari appears to have been worshipped since the founding of a shrine at Inari Mountain in 711 AD, although some scholars believe that worship started in the late 5th century. By the 16th century, Inari had become the patron of blacksmiths and the protector of warriors, and worship of Inari spread across Japan in the Edo period. Inari is a popular figure in both Shinto and Buddhist beliefs in Japan. More than one-third (32,000) of the Shinto shrines in Japan are dedicated to Inari. Modern corporations, such as the cosmetic company Shiseido, continue to revere Inari as a patron kami, with shrines atop their corporate headquarters. Inari's foxes, or kitsune, are pure white and act as their messengers. According to the myth, Inari, as a goddess, was said to have come to Japan at the time of its creation amidst a harsh famine that struck the land. "She [Inari] descended from Heaven riding on a white fox, and in her hand, she carried sheaves of cereal or grain. Ine, the word now used for rice, is the name for this cereal. What she carried was not rice but some cereal that grows in swamps. According to legend, in ancient times Japan was water and swamp land."


An Inari shrine (稲荷神社 Inari jinja) is a type of Japanese shrine used to worship the kami Inari. Inari is a popular deity associated with foxes, rice, household well-being, business prosperity, and general prosperity. Inari shrines are typically constructed of white stucco walls with red-lacquered woodwork, and their entrances are marked by vermilion torii. Both Buddhist and Shinto Inari shrines are located throughout Japan.

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