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Atago Stone Lanterns

Atago Stone Lanterns
The Atago lanterns of Iwakura, in north Kyoto. Forms vary widely, even within neighborhoods.
Walking along old roads in north Kyoto, the visitor encounters old stone lanterns standing at many intersections. Some are surrounded by carefully trimmed hedges; others might have flowers or offerings of sake placed before them. These are the Atago lanterns, the lanterns of Atago-jinja Shrine. Atago-jinja, on top of Mt. Atago, is dedicated to Atago-san, the deity who protects us from fire. Almost every kitchen in Kyoto has a talisman displaying the phrase Hi no Yo-jin (Be Wary with Fire) and petitioning the divine benevolence of Atago-san. Each Atago lantern has a small box on the side, containing charms against fire. However, the tops of the lanterns are especially fascinating the shape brings to mind nothing less than the lid of a kitchen pot. It seems to warn passersby to wary with fire!

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