Shirakami-sha   白神社

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Shirakami-sha in Hiroshima

Strings Shirakami-sha in Hiroshima.

Shirakami-sha in Hiroshima

White stones Shirakami-sha in Hiroshima.

White amid cars

Overshadowed by skyscrapers and other glass buildings, this Shinto shrine is responsible for a crossing between two ages. 

Amongst the gray of the urban sprawl, arises a small white, scared islet. The Shirakami-sha, or "white god"  in Japanese, dates back to the sixteenth century, of imprecise origins and mysterious purpose. Hiroshima , which means "wide island," was built on the largest land part of a delta that was gradually filled. Eating its way through the coasts, the city was built on cliffs, reefs and silted foundations.

The ancient history of the city is beautiful. But once, ships that ventured into this marine area risked sinking, too, so as benevolent headlights, some places were constructed so as to prevent marine disaster.

Unforgettable Protector

So the Shirakami-sha is at the same place where small papers and white scarves were arranged as a reflection of lifesaving flags of yore. In honor of these symbols and of saved boats, the site, built in white stone with strings reminiscent of those ships, is keeping the tradition alive in one way or another.

In 1945, the shrine, which was five hundred meters from the hypocenter of the bomb, was obliterated. To perpetuate the custom of the festival which is held annually on 28 and 29 October in its walls, a substitute was re-established. Hiroshima was recovering. The current version dates from 1955, built in the architectural style Shinmei-zukuri, made ​​of wood and more refined. Faithful to white in the gray, purity in the city, to silence the noise.

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