Good News on Tsurugaoka Hachimangu TreePosted: June 17, 2010 | Author: Doug | Filed under: Japan, Religion, Shinto, Travel | 5 Comments »
A few months back, I wrote about the famous and ancient Ginkgo tree that had fallen over in a storm at the Shinto Shrine of Tsurugaoka Hachimangū in Kamakura, Japan. This shrine, and its tree, are both famous in Japan and elsewhere, and the tree’s demise made local news. The good news, is that early on, people worked to salvage the tree, and the results can be seen easily enough. A family friend in Japan who happens to live near Kamakura took these photos for us in April:
The new tree is on the left, apparently a graft grown from the old stump, which has also been moved from the original site on the right. The picture is a bit blurry as I am not very good with a scanenr (I’ll fix later). A picture I took in 2007 before the collapse can be seen here (tree is on the right):
And here’s a closeup of the original site of the tree:
Notice that the plants and dirt are surrounded by a large, sacred Shinto rope or shimenawa (注連縄), and paper lightning bolts, or shidé (紙垂), obviously for spiritual protection. Hopefully others living in Japan can comment on this more though.
Big thanks to the Ojima Family for the photos!
Update: Big thanks to Tornado28 and Johnl for corrections and additional information.