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A few weeks ago, I wrote about the damage done to the stone fence (tamagaki) at Shirahata Hachiman Daijin by a truck driver who, I suspect, was blindly following GPS guidance and not paying attention to how big the vehicle was. I mentioned at the time that I expected it to be a short-term problem for the jinja, and so it proved. The repairs have now been completed.

As you can see from the pictures, only one part of the tamagaki needed replacing — the large pillar at the left of the entrance as you face it, right on the corner. I suspect that this one was broken by the impact. The replacement is a slightly different colour, but that may simply be because it isn’t weathered yet — it is a very good match.

You may also notice all the red characters on the tamagaki. These are the names of the people who contributed to the rebuilding of the jinja in 1972, and the characters were always there. However, before the accident they were not picked out in red, at least not within my memory. (The first photograph was taken while the work of painting them in was still in progress — that is the undamaged side.) I guess that the jinja took advantage of the fact that the craftspeople were there anyway and paid them to do that as well.

So, the jinja has actually improved its situation after the accident. Jinja in populated areas can still generally afford this sort of thing, which is a good measure of the continued vitality of Shinto in Japan.

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