Beckoning Cats at the Awashima Shrine in Wakayama

maneki-neko

The Awashima Shrine in Wakayama Prefecture is home to thousands of these Maneki Neko (beckoning cats), as well as raccoon dogs, hina dolls, and phallic symbols, unwanted items that their owners can’t bear to throw out, so they bring them to this shrine. A lot of Japanese people think it’s creepy because there is a widespread belief that dolls have souls.

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