THE OKAZAKI COLLECTION
Altar

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Record 23/66
Copyright PastPerfect Museum
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Collection Okasaki Collection
Description It is a household Shinto altar (shelf). It called "Kamidana." It looks like a small wooden miniature of the house. "Shinto" is the ancient religion of Japan that has gods who represent various parts of nature, and gives great importance to people who died in the past. Kamidana is an interior shelf, where paper talismans or amulets, issued by the major Shinto shrines were enshrined for worship as tutelary household deities in traditional vernacular houses of the Edo period. Candles were lit and offering of rice, fruit, fish, and rice etc. were made daily. A common types of Kamidana occupied the top part of a cupboard unit and resembles a doored upper shelf. However, most widespread type was a plain board forming a shelf fixed to the top of the lintel members and supported by cantilevered brackets from beneath, or stabilized with timber hangers, suspended from the beams above. On this shelf a miniature shrine was often installed to contain the paper talismans. Kamidana were most often located in one of the main everyday livng rooms or the kitchin. They were often placed in the corner of a room for better support.

The base part was alreay broken.
Dimensions H-10.9 W-8.4 L-2.6 D-3.9 inches
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Object ID 2002.0006
Object Name Altar
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COPYRIGHT OTTAWA UNIVERSITY, OTTAWA KS    library@ottawa.edu
Last modified on: December 12, 2013