kami

Shimekazari at Muji

On my way to price a vaccuum cleaner for our tatami floors (ended up buying at 1300 yen used vaccuum at a recycle shop), I was surprised to see this display of shimekazari at Muji, which was busy blasting Xmas music and offering holiday specials.

Shimekazari are end of the year Shinto displays for the home. They can include rice, rope, pine, and folded paper, and welcome ancestral harvest kami or spirits. Smaller ones hang on the door, and larger ones sit outside of homes and shops.

Seeing shimekazari inside Muji was an uncanny juxtaposition of Shinto shrine and modern commerce, old Japan and Xmas, agrarian and urban.