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Inari is the Shinto god of rice, the protector of food, and bringer of prosperity. He has over 40,000 shrines dedicated to him large and small across Japan, the oldest and most important of which is the Fushimi Inari Shrine near Kyoto with its famous red torii gates and fox statues in honour of the animal which is considered the god's messenger and guardian.
Inari's name derives from ine, meaning rice seedling and so his name can be translated as 'rice carrier'. The rice god may go by another name, that of Ta-no-kami or 'the god of the paddy field'. He is sometimes called Susshe Inari (Success Inari) or Manzoku Inari (Fulfillment Inari). Yet another title is Ukanomitama-no-kami, meaning 'the god of nourishment'. Inari is also closely associated with the ancient rice or food goddess Ukemochi okami. Another association and one typical of the crossover of divine figures in Shinto and Japanese Buddhism is Daikiniten/Daikokuten (from the Hindu Dakini), the Buddhist god of the kitchen and the Five Grains, which include, of course, rice. In Buddhism, the god is considered a disciple of the Buddha and he may also be known as Inari Daimyojin.
Spread of the Cult
According to legend, Inari was first worshipped on Mount Inari from the 8th century CE following a discovery by a man called Hata no Irogu. One day Irogu was practising his archery skills using sticky rice cakes (mochi) as targets. One shot hit directly through a cake which then magically transformed into a white dove. Irogu followed the flight of the bird which eventually landed on a peak of Mt. Inari called Mitsumine, and there he found rice growing and so began the worship of Inari as a spirit or Shinto kami.
Inari is the SHINTO god of prosperity, the friend of merchants, traders & artisans, & all round general problem solver.
As the god of rice, the staple food of ancient Japan and so vital to the lives of all people from the lowly farmer to the emperor himself, Inari, unsurprisingly would become one of the major figures of Shinto. Festivals and rituals involving rice and rice farming, especially in the periods of sowing and harvest, have been practised ever since rice cultivation was introduced into southern Japan during the Yayoi Period (300 BCE - 250 CE). Given the food's importance, Inari's cult, thus, reached all corners of the Japanese islands and he acquired all manner of other attributes, too. Regarded as the bringer of prosperity in general, the protector of food, finder of lost property, protector of lovers and married couples, patron of swordsmiths, friend of merchants, traders, and artisans, and all round general problem solver.
Inari's cult spread from that of a purely local deity in the 9th century CE when the famous scholar monk and founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan, Kukai, aka Kobo Daishi (774-835 CE), made the god the guardian of the To-ji temple in Heiankyo (Kyoto), then the capital of Japan. Kukai had claimed to have met an old man carrying rice on the Inari mountain and he considered it a meeting with the god himself. When the emperor fell seriously ill, it was only by giving Inari a high court rank that he ensured his recovery.
During the Edo Period (1603-1868 CE) Inari took on an association with commerce and thus came to represent wealth and prosperity. This developed further as Japan's economy grew and life became more commercialised so that, by the Meiji Period (1868-1912 CE), Inari was considered the kami of finance and industry, a position he still holds for many today. Consequently, Inari shrines are still very much in use and also appear in miniaturised form in such places as market squares and the roofs of office blocks.
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In art the god is sometimes represented with a beard, he wears court clothes, carries a sack of rice, sometimes a flaming jewel which grants wishes, and may hold a key to a granary. Very often he is riding a white fox, the animal regarded as Inari's messenger and guardian. For this reason, Inari became the yashikigami or household deity of warriors in the medieval period as they too were imagined to ride foxes.
Many Inari shrines have fox sculptures, often wearing red bibs for good luck and holding a key to a rice granary in their mouths. Each shrine also has a symbolic hole in one of its perimeter walls to allow Inari's fox messenger ease of entry and exit. Worshippers frequently leave an offering for the fox at Inari shrines, typically inari-zushi, which is cooked rice wrapped in fried tofu and soaked in a sweet rice liquor. It is hoped that pleased with this offering the fox will only pass on good things about the worshipper to his master and thus ensure a favourable response from the god for whatever is being asked for.
Inari is one of the most popular deities in Japan, and he has thousands of shrines across the country, especially in rural areas, but it is the Fushimi Inari Taisha temple complex near Kyoto which is the oldest, largest and the most important. Aside from being the headquarters of Inari worship, the Fushimi shrine is also famous for the large number of red gates (torii) of all sizes at the site, which are donated by the faithful looking for the god to favour them (starting price around 3000 US dollars at the time of writing). The paths at the complex have over 5,000 torii, and they are placed so close together as to almost form covered walkways.
The Fushimi Inari shrine was founded in 711 CE by the Hata clan and moved from its original location on the top of Mt. Inari to its present location lower down in the 9th century CE. Like several other Shinto shrines, it was administered by Buddhist monks until the formal separation of the two religions in 1873 CE. The large round stone outside the main temple represents the presence (shintai) of Inari and is flanked by a large pair of fox sculptures. The main building was, unfortunately, destroyed by fire in 1468 CE during the Onin Wars (1467-1477 CE), but it was rebuilt in 1499 CE and has since been regularly restored. The Fushimi shrine is a popular visitor attraction all year round but especially in the New Year for the Hatsumode festival and at the beginning of February for the Hatsuuma Taisai festival.
This content was made possible with generous support from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.
A Brief History of Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto’s Most Important Shrine
Fushimi Inari Taisha is Kyoto’s most important Shinto shrine and one of its most impressive attractions. Located in southern Kyoto, it is famed for its variety of shrines and vermilion torii shrine gates, with thousands of them winding their way up the sacred Mount Inari. Whatever you do, don’t miss it.
Inari, a shortened form of Ine Nari or Ine ni Naru, is derived from the Kanji 稲荷, with 稲 representing “rice” and 荷 representing “cargo,” “freight,” or “to carry.” Inari’s full name is Inari Okami, or 稲荷大神, which can be translated as “the Great God Inari.” This is sometimes shortened to O-Inari, or 大稲荷. Another name is Ta-no-Kami (田の神), or “God of the Paddy Fields.” When referenced in a Buddhist context, Inari may be associated with a particular person on the path toward enlightenment (known as a bodhisattva), in which case Inari may take on secondary names related to that bodhisattva.
Inari - History
- Financial Result
- Change in Company Info
- Additional Listing
|Latest Quarter | Ann. Date||31-Mar-2021 [#3] | 21-May-2021|
|Next QR | Est. Ann. Date:||30-Jun-2021 | 27-Aug-2021|
|T4Q P/E | EY:||39.41 | 2.54%|
|T4Q DY | Payout %:||2.89% | 113.82%|
|T4Q NAPS | P/NAPS:||0.4142 | 7.89|
|T4Q NP Margin | ROE:||21.39% | 20.03%|
|14-Jun-2021||Price Target||Traders Brief - FMCO extension to undermine sentiment|
Source : HLG, Price Call : BUY, Price Target : 3.81
Last Price : 3.27, Upside/Downside : +0.54(16.51%)
|18-Jun-2021||Insider||EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND BOARD (a substantial shareholder) disposed 1,135,200 shares on 15-Jun-2021.|
|18-Jun-2021||Insider||EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND BOARD (a substantial shareholder) disposed 255,000 shares on 15-Jun-2021.|
|17-Jun-2021||Insider||KUMPULAN WANG PERSARAAN (DIPERBADANKAN) (a substantial shareholder) disposed 1,000,000 shares on 16-Jun-2021.|
|17-Jun-2021||Insider||KUMPULAN WANG PERSARAAN (DIPERBADANKAN) (a substantial shareholder) acquired 627,000 shares on 16-Jun-2021.|
|16-Jun-2021||Insider||KUMPULAN WANG PERSARAAN (DIPERBADANKAN) (a substantial shareholder) acquired 440,000 shares on 15-Jun-2021.|
|16-Jun-2021||Insider||EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND BOARD (a substantial shareholder) disposed 148,000 shares on 11-Jun-2021.|
|16-Jun-2021||Insider||EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND BOARD (a substantial shareholder) disposed 62,000 shares on 11-Jun-2021.|
|15-Jun-2021||Insider||KUMPULAN WANG PERSARAAN (DIPERBADANKAN) (a substantial shareholder) disposed 80,000 shares on 14-Jun-2021.|
|14-Jun-2021||Insider||EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND BOARD (a substantial shareholder) disposed 592,900 shares on 09-Jun-2021.|
|16-Jun-2021||Insider||MR FOO KOK SIEW (a company director) disposed 160,000 shares at 3.157 on 14-Jun-2021.|
|19-Jun-2021||Forum||7 New Comments|
|14-Jun-2021||Traders Brief - FMCO extension to undermine sentiment|
|11-Jun-2021||Traders Brief - Drifting Sideways in the Absence of Positive Catalysts|
|02-Jun-2021||1QCY21 Results Review - Within Expectation|
|02-Jun-2021||Inari Amertron - Rosy Growth Prospects Overshadow Proposed Private Placement and FMCO Concerns|
|01-Jun-2021||Results Review - Technology|
|28-May-2021||Trading Stocks - Inari Amertron|
|25-May-2021||Inari Amertron - Exploring ways to continue RF ramp-up|
|24-May-2021||Inari Amertron Berhad - The Best 3Q Yet|
|24-May-2021||Mplus Market Pulse - Volatility remains a feature|
|24-May-2021||Inari Amertron - Best Third Quarter Earnings Ever|
|24-May-2021||Inari Amertron - Still a beat despite seasonal weakness|
|24-May-2021||Inari Amertron &ndash 3Q21: Sound Results|
|24-May-2021||Inari Amertron - Higher-than-expected 3Q volume loadings|
|20-May-2021||Traders Brief - Wild swings ahead amid Wall St rout and lingering fears of further MCO tightening|
|16-May-2021||Inari Amertron Bhd Sedikit Informasi|
|07-May-2021||Mplus Market Pulse - 7 May 2021|
|07-May-2021||Inari Amertron - Proposes private placement of 10% shares|
|07-May-2021||Inari Amertron Berhad - Raising Fresh Funds|
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17/06/2021 2:44 PM
pang72 Posted by ooi8888 > Jun 17, 2021 9:02 PM | Report Abuse
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18/06/2021 10:40 AM
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stockraider Why do u want to buy Inari at Rm 3.26 leh ?
Do u know that u buy 1000 shares of insas at Rm 0.875, U will still get exposure of 800 shares of Inari worth Rm 2.60 leh!
Insas already make profit after tax of Rm 217m within 9 mths. its projected EPS is Rm 0.43 for the year mah.
U think Insas main main meh ?
Insas hathaway more than a bluechips mah!
INSAS HATHAWAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY BUY, NOT TO BE MISSED MAH!
GooShen USA market crashing weiii
Dow Jones -500 points
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Firewood1313 Just wanna laugh. market crashes. hahaha.
Don’t know why, the more baby shark shouting market crashes, the better Inari performs. 3.30 - 3.50 is just the matter of time. Don’t forget, Aug is coming. dividend moment.
stockraider Correctloh. lets summarise the positive aspect of Insas loh!
1. Its Nta is Rm 2.96 per share.
2. It make a profit of rm 218m 9 mths & expected to make more than Rm 280m whole year or eps more than 40 sen.
3. It expect to declare dividend of 2 to 3 sen.
4. It hold more than 16% of Inari thats is equivalent to 800 shares of Inari for every 1000 insas u hold .
5. Insas has a net cash exceeding Rm 560m or 80 sen cash per share.
6. Insas has shown very strong earnings growth.
7. Insas benefited from very strong presence in the technology 5G area plus the financial sector of stockbroking, investment banking & lending and advisory area.
8. Insas is the taiko in the leap mkt & ace mkt listing under M&A Investment banking Group.
9. Insas is the top Venture Capitalist Fund with proven big success track record in Inari and Sengenic previously
10. Insas has huge hidden reserves in non revalue properties & business plus its associate inari already have a hidden reserves of Rm 1.2b or Rm 1.70 per share.
In order words Insas hathaway is the most balance, profitable, yield & growth investment u can find in klse with deep discount and margin of safety.
Raider is accumulating, how about u leh ?
Yes inari is ok & very good, but the cheaper exposure to inari fast is buying into insas or its warrant mah!
Posted by pang72 > Jun 18, 2021 1:32 PM | Report Abuse
Posted by Sslee > Jun 19, 2021 9:34 AM | Report Abuse
Cash is king.
So do you know how much cash Insas is holding, money lend to VVIP by Insas credit & leasing and value of fair value assests?
Posted by Lpc1225 > Jun 19, 2021 10:02 AM | Report Abuse
The moment insas decides on the dividend policy of 25 pc from the profit earned each quarter the share price will shoot through the sky！Is the boss willing to share the company profits with all the shareholders？
The origin of Fushimi Inari Taisha is described in Yamashirokoku Fudoki, an ancient report on provincial culture, geography and oral tradition that was presented to the emperor. Irogu no Hatanokimi, an ancestor of Hatanonakatsue no Imiki, is said to have shot a rice cake, which turned into a swan and flew away. Eventually the swan landed on a peak of a mountain, where an auspicious omen occurred and rice grew. Inari is named for this miracle (“ina” is Japanese for “rice”). It has also been described in other ancient texts, which state that priests such as Hatauji have held spring and autumn festivals at the shrine ever since the deity Inari Okami was enshrined on a plateau in the Inari Mitsugamine area during the Wado era (708-715).
An ancient shrine text also says that Irogu no Hatanokimi, a respected figure in what is now the Fukakusa area of Kyoto, received an imperial order from Empress Genmei to enshrine three deities in three mountains on the first Day of the Horse of the second month of 711. That year, the farmers were blessed with great harvests of grains and much silk from their silkworms.
This shows that Fushimi Inari Taisha and the Fukakusa area are closely connected to Hatauji, and that our deity has been enshrined since the first Day of the Horse in the second month of 711. But there is reason to believe that our faith dates back even further than this.
|711||Inari Okami takes up residence in Mitsugamine, Inariyama, Kii-gun, Yamashiro Province.|
|827||Sacred trees on Inariyama are cut so that their wood can be used to build Toji Temple. A curse by the deity causes disturbances, and Inari no Kami (as Inari Okami was previously known) is granted the junior fifth rank, a lower rank of deities, by the imperial court.|
|908||Fujiwara Tokihira repairs the shrine.|
|927||Fushimi Inari Taisha is recorded in the Engishiki Jinmyocho, a list of shrines throughout Japan, recognizing three shrines in the precinct of Inari Shrine, Kii-gun, Yamashiro Province as one of the highest-ranking shrines.|
|942||The shrine is elevated to the highest rank for Shinto shrines.|
|1000||Sei Shonagon writes in her published diary Makura no Soshi (The Pillow Book) about a visit that she made to the shrine on the Day of the Horse in February. She describes the climb to the shrine buildings as exhausting.|
|1336||Emperor Godaigo flees from Kyoto to the Yoshino area, where Fushimi Inari Taisha is located. He loses his way and prays to Inari no Kami, reciting a poem: “I am lost in the darkness of the night. Please send me three lanterns to guide me”. A red cloud appears, guiding him to safety. The “three lanterns” he mentions refer to the three mountains with shrines, including Fushimi Inari Taisha, which have now been known as holy grounds for centuries.|
|1467||The outbreak of the Onin Rebellion.|
|1468||The shrine edifices both on the mountain and below are destroyed in a fire during the attack of Yamana Mochitoyo, Hatakeyama Yoshinari, Shiba Yoshikado, Ouchi Masahiro on Honekawa Doken.|
|1499||The shrine edifices are rebuilt.|
|1589||The main gate is built with offerings made by regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi.|
|1694||Shrine edifices are rebuilt.|
|1871||The shrine is designated a Kanpei Taisha (grand shrine under the control of the Department of Worship) of the new Meiji government.|
|1909||With the adoption of the National Treasure Preservation Law, the main shrine building is designated a national treasure (today an Important Cultural Property).|
|1946||Fushimi Inari Taisha is registered as a religious organization.|
|1961||Ceremonies commemorating the 1250th anniversary of Inari Okami taking up residence on Inariyama.|
|1999||Grand ceremony held to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the rebuilt shrine edifices dating to 1499.|
|2011||Ceremony to celebrate the 1300th anniversary of the shrine’s establishment.|
No information or images from this website may be reused or reproduced without authorization.
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City 612-0882 Phone (075) 641-7331 Fax (075) 642-2153
Traditional festivals and rituals are held at Fushimi Inari Taisha throughout the seasons.
Many are seasonal hallmarks that evoke Kyoto’s history as the old capital of Japan, with throngs of worshippers in the shrine precinct.
Although Inari shrines are said to outnumber any other type of shrine in Japan, there is a surprising amount that even Japanese people do not know about them.
Here you can find out everything you need to know about how Shinto is practiced at Inari shrines.
The whole of Inariyama, the mountain where Fushimi Inari Taisha rests, is considered a precinct of the shrine. Smaller shrines (hokora), sites of former shrines where deities remain (shinseki), worshiping stones engraved with deities’ names (otsuka), shrine gateways (torii) and other features can be found throughout this holy area.
Inariyama is a 233m-high holy mountain, one of the southernmost of the 36 Higashiyama mountains. Inari Shintoism began with a form of mountain worship in which Inariyama was designated as a kamnabi, a place in nature where a deity is enshrined.
Inari - History
INARI or Oinari or Oinari-sama
Shinto God/Goddess of Rice & Food
Messenger = The Fox (Kitsune)
狐 = Kitsune
INARI = Shinto Rice Kami
by Becky Yoose (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire)
Inari is one of the most well known kami in popular folk Shinto. He (or she) is the god of rice and is related with general prosperity. In earlier Japan, Inari was also the patron of sword smiths and merchants. Primarily, however, Inari is associated with agriculture, protecting rice fields and giving the farmers an abundant harvest every year. One of the main myths concerning Inari tells of this kami coming down a mountain every spring when it is planting season and ascending back up the mountain after the harvest for the winter. Both events are celebrated in popular folk festivals (Herbert 506).
Inari does not have one main image or gender, but rather has many associated images and is identified with other kami as well. Usually when one refers to Inari the two general images are of an old man sitting on a pile of rice with two foxes beside him, or of a beautiful fox-woman.
The kami directly identified with Inari are quite numerous. First is Hettsui-no-Kami , the Goddess of the Kitchen Range. During the Feast of the Bellows, where fires are lit, Inari is included among the deities honored, together with Hettsui-no-Kami indeed, the two are said to be one and the same (Coulter and Turner, 237). In earlier times, Inari was thought of as being three (or sometimes five) kami. Among the kami that Inari has been associated with are Miketsu Okami , Ogetsu Hime no Kami , Ukanomitama no Kami , Toyouke Hime no Kami , and Toyouke no Kami . Yet more kami once linked with Inari were Ninigi no Mikoto, Susano-O no Mikoto, and both Izanami and Izanagi no Mikoto (Smyers 153).
There are two Buddhist versions of Inari as well. One version is the Chinjugami , the temple protector. While this form is more common, another version, named Dakiniten , is the one worshiped as the primary deity. The name “Dakiniten” is derived from the Sanskrit work “ dakini ,” meaning a “space-goer” or “celestial goddess.” It refers to one of the legendary incarnations in which the Buddha appeared (prior to being born as Shakyamuni), when he lived as a bodhisattva and served unselfishly to promote the enlightenment of others. This Dakini later merged in the popular imagination of Japan with the fox-benefactress who brought food to all the people. The fall festival at Toyokawa Inari shrine would involve Dakiniten (Smyers 7). Interestingly, the linkage between Toyokawa and Inari-Dakiniten may have begun on account of the foxes associated separately with each of these food goddesses. On the other hand, many scholars believe that Toyokawa and Inari have always been one and the same (Smyers 38).
Inari, wood figurine
Musee Guimet, Paris
See full photo below
Another kami identified with Inari is Uke-mochi , the Shinto goddess of food. According to a myth recorded in the Nihongoki, Uke vomited rice and fish to give to Tsukiyomi, the Moon Kami, at a banquet. (This may have symbolized the eternal recycling of food from one life form to another.) In any case, Tsukiyomi apparently did not appreciate the gesture, for he killed Uke instantly. Her dead body then produced all the foods and animals that are related to agriculture. (For a fuller description of this myth, see Tsukiyomi.) According to some accounts, Uke-mochi was also said to have been married to Inari before she was killed. When she died, Inari took over her role (Nihongi 32).
The fox (kitsune in Japanese) is closely associated to Inari. However, many people mistake the kitsune for the actual kami. This error should be avoided, for the fox is merely Inari’s messenger and servant. These animals are believed to help protect the rice crops and help people in general. Some folk stories, however, portray the kitsune as tricksters and wicked animals. An example of a benign kitsune comes from a story recounted in The Fox and the Jewel about a mother whose child fell out the window of her second-story home. Astonishingly, the child landed unhurt in the yard below, though surrounded by shards of broken glass. A few years later the mother learned from an ascetic (who had no prior knowledge of the incident) that Inari had saved her daughter by having a fox-spirit catch her in its mouth and place her on the ground unhurt (Smyers 107).
Fox at Tsurugaoka
There are several theories on how the kitsune became Inari’s servant. The first is a myth in a Buddhist text from the 14th century telling of a family of foxes who traveled to the shrine at Inari Mountain to offer their service to Inari. Inari granted their request and placed them as the attendants of the shrine (Smyers 80). Another theory comes from the behavior of actual living foxes. Foxes are often seen in and around rice fields during the growing season eating the rodents that would otherwise consume the rice. This pattern of behavior gave them the image of guardians of the fields (Smyers 75). Also significant is that the color of the fox resembles the color of ripened rice, and its tail looks like a full sheaf of rice. These traits help to explain how the kitsune came to be associated with an agricultural deity like Inari in the early years of Inari worship (beginning around the eighth century).
Another way of explaining the fox connection derives it from representations of the Buddhist Bodhisattva Dakiniten, who is often shown carrying rice on a flying white fox. This image, along with ancient Dakiniten sorcery involving fox replicas, may have led to the eventual connection of Dakiniten to Inari and the fox association that came with it (Smyers 84).
A jewel is also associated with Inari. Wish-fulfilling jewels are usually found on most fox statues in Inari shrines either in its mouth or under the paw (Smyers 112). These jewels represent spiritual and material wealth, fertility, and life the types of things that are associated with prosperity. The fox holes in the shrines are jewel-shaped in their openings, providing another connection between the wish-granting jewels and tutelary fox-spirits (Smyers 146).
Inari shrines are everywhere. One out of three Shinto shrines is dedicated to Inari (Smyers 1). The most popular Shinto Inari shrine is Fushimi Inari Shrine in southern Kyoto. Since the eighth century, Inari has been worshiped here by the mountain with the same name. This shrine, unlike the undecorated shrines of other kami, has up to ten thousand red torii (sacred gates) lining a 2.5-mile-long path in the back of the shrine. One can also find stone foxes that serve as the image of Inari’s messengers, some with the traditional fried tofu offerings at their feet (Herbert 506, also see Smyers 74). Another Inari shrine that is popular is the Buddhist Toyokawa Inari Shrine , or Myogonji Temple. Here we find Inari Dakiniten as the main object of worship (Smyers 34). Instead of bright red torii, this temple has rows of red and white prayer flags. As one priest said, “Priests should live simply and not flaunt wealth, and the temple should reflect this idea too” (Smyers 36).
Comment: Inari is indeed one of the more mysterious kami in Shinto. While researching for this paper I found many different (even conflicting) views on this deity of rice. The Fox and the Jewel recounts an episode involving a priest at the Fushimi shrine who commented on this diversity: “If there were one hundred worshipers, they will have one hundred different ideas about Inari” (156). With that one hundred, two things are clear: Inari is connected with rice and foxes. The rest is up to the believer. As mentioned before, Inari itself has two main images and is even worshiped as other deities such as Uke-mochi. Trying to pin down a definite and unambiguous meaning for Inari would be like asking different groups of people to define universal ideas like truth and beauty. People may share a few parts of their meaning however each interpretation is unique to the individual believer. Inari is such an idea, having its variations among many. To try to see Inari just as the Old Man of Rice or just as Dakiniten, would be to overlook the diversity that is imbedded in Inari. In order to study Inari, one has to look beyond any one representation in order to have a well-rounded view of this kami.
For more information about the history and contemporary worship of Inari, The Fox and the Jewel by Karen Smyers is especially recommended.
Inari, wood figurine, Tokugawa Period (1603-1867)
Courtesy Musée Guimet, Paris, where figurine is located.
Coulter, Charles R. and Patricia Turner. Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities . Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland Co. Inc., 2000.
Herbert, Jean. Shinto: At the Fountainhead of Japan . New York, Stein and Day, 1967.
Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697 . Translated by W.G. Aston. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1956.
Smyers, Karen A. The Fox and the Jewel: Shared and Private Meanings in Contemporary Japanese Inari Worship . Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999.
Inari sushi is made by filling a pouch of seasoned fried tofu (abura age) with Sushi Rice. It is named after the Shinto god, Inari who is said to have had a fondness for tofu.
It is also said that the Japanese were the first to develop tofu pouches but little is really known of the early history. There is mention of a deep fried tofu recipe in Todu Hyakuchin which was a Japanese recipe book written and published in 1782 during the Edo period. And it is also known that Inari-Zushi was created in 1853.
Deep fried tofu pouches became so popular in Japan that by the 1980's 300,000 to 450,000 pouches were made every day and roughly 1/3 of the soybeans used for tofu were used for the deep fried pouches.
Either way, all I know is that it was one of my favorite types of sushi when I was growing up (my mother is Japanese). Many times I would get one in my lunch box or as a snack after school. Yum!
Make this for your kids once, and I bet they will be hooked on it.
Although very popular in Japan, Inari sushi is just now making its way into America. This is a surprisingly easy type of sushi to make and will make a lasting impression on family and friends. Firstly, because of its unexpected salty, sweet taste and secondly because they probably have never had it anywhere else because it is only now making its way into U.S.
The abura age is made by cutting tofu into thin slices and deep frying at 110
120 °C and then again at 180
200 °C. It can be purchased in packs of 2 to 4 in the refrigerated section of Japanese or Asian Markets or can be purchased already seasoned in cans (called inarizushi-no-moto), ready to drain, stuff with sushi rice and eat.
The Inari Fox in Modern Japanese Culture
While far fewer people practice the Shinto faith today, many of its traditions and customs are still incorporated into daily life in Japan. The image of the Inari fox is one such persistent reminder of these traditional roots.
While nigiri sushi (thinly sliced fish over a pillow of sushi rice) is a familiar sight for most people, inari sushi (called inarizushi in Japanese) is much less commonly known outside of Japan. This staple side dish, found at sushi and noodle restaurants, features slightly sweet tofu skin called "aburaage" that is fried, formed into a pocket, and filled with sticky sushi rice.
According to folklore, foxes' favorite food is aburaage. Combine this with rice (which you'll recall Inari is the god of), and it's easy to see why the name inari sushi was chosen. Depending on where in Japan you are staying, you may find that inari sushi has a different flavor or is served in different shapes. In the east, it is often formed into a rectangular shape, representative of the large bags rice is packaged into and filled with nothing more than vinegared rice. In the west of Japan, inari sushi has a richer flavor and the rice is commonly mixed with vegetables and other ingredients. In addition, the shape is typically triangular, supposedly to represent the shape of a fox's ear.
While attending a festival in Japan, you will often come across a stall selling a variety of colorful masks, among which you might see a white kitsune mask. These kitsune masks were originally used in Shinto ritual dances and Japanese theater productions but now are more commonly found as decorations meant to invite prosperity. However, kitsune masks are still used in some rituals, the most famous of which takes place each year on New Year's Eve. According to legend, foxes used to take on the form of humans and visit Oji Inari Shrine in Tokyo on this day. To commemorate the event, hundreds of participants don kitsune masks or paint their faces like foxes during the annual Oji Kitsune-no-Gyoretsu Fox Parade.
Inari Foxes in Anime
As ubiquitous as anime has become in Japanese culture, it should come as no surprise that the Inari Fox has made an appearance in many different TV shows and manga including popular works such as Pokemon and Naruto. Notably, the manga and anime Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha features a young girl named Inari Fushimi who saves a fox pup from drowning in a river. The goddess of a nearby shrine takes notice of the kind act and rewards Inari Fushimi with the power to transform into other people, much like the foxes of Japanese folklore are said to be able to do. The light-hearted series takes place in Kyoto and features real-life locations like the famous Fushimi Inari Taisha (mentioned below) making it a fun read or watch for fans of the city.
Aside from just plain rice, inarizushi may have other ingredients either mixed into the rice, or laid over top of the rice, with the tofu pocket left open. Some popular fillings include:
Both black and white sesame seeds are a popular addition to inarizushi. A sprinkling is added to the rice and mixed through, creating a simple but decorative appearance and a nutty flavor element.
Pickled Cherry Blossoms
During cherry blossom season, food is often adorned with cherry blossoms that have been preserved in salt, making for a festive and decorative food to be enjoyed during this special time of year. Hanami bento (cherry blossom viewing bento) is a popular food eat at picnics, featuring inarizushi with pickled cherry blossoms either placed on top of, or mixed into, the rice.
Sakura refer to Japanese cherry trees, famed for their pink cherry blossoms which bloom from March to May across the country. Sakura ebi are tiny pink-colored shrimp (ebi) which are a popular addition to Japanese meals, adding a hint of seafood flavor along with a decorative element. Inarizushi may be topped with raw, cooked or dried sakura ebi, sometimes combined with other ingredients such as tobiko (fish roe) or shirasu (baby sardines).
Tsukudani is a Japanese cooking preparation technique where ingredients are simmered in a rich and flavorful mixture of soy sauce, dashi, mirin and sugar. Tsukudani kombu (a type of seaweed) is a popular addition to rice dishes and salads in Japan, and can be used in inarizushi.
Image by Matt Wunderle on Flickr
For a sweet and spicy version of inarizushi, Japanese shichimi togarashi spice, can be sprinkled over the open rice pockets. This is a very commonly used condiment that is a blend of seven (shichi) spices - red pepper, sansho pepper, roasted orange peel, black and white sesame seeds, seaweed and ginger - that has been used in Japan for hundreds of years.
Image by Yoppy on Flickr
Kinshi tamago is very thinly sliced usuyaki tamago, a thin egg crepe. It’s used in Japanese dishes for decoration and a hint of flavor and a protein source.
Gomoku means “five ingredients,” so gomoku inarizushi actually has an extra three ingredients in addition to the rice and tofu pocket. Most commonly, these are any combination of shiitake mushroom, edamame beans, hijiki seaweed, carrot and sesame seeds, and are mixed into the rice before being stuffed into the inari pocket.
Seaweed salad is popular both within Japan and at Japanese restaurants outside Japan. It may be any type of seaweed, but is often rehydrated dried kombu, thinly sliced and mixed with a dressing of sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds and dried togarashi chilies. Seaweed salad is placed on top of inari pockets.
The flexibility of inarizushi lends itself to other sorts of fillings—tuna salad, crab meat, potato salad, egg and mayonnaise. In Hawaii, a variety of inari stuffed with a stew of ground mince and vegetables can be found!
Just because it’s categorized as a type of sushi, modern inarizushi versions may include other carbohydrates in place of the traditional sushi rice. Soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles), somen (thin wheat flour noodles) and even quinoa, a South-American grain, can be found inside inarizushi. These are usually mixed or topped with other ingredients, such as pickled ginger or chopped negi (shallots).