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  • Writer's pictureNAOWAO

Hirou Jinja (飛 "fly" 龍 "dragon" 神社)

The Eastern dragon is an essential motif and symbol in my works. In Japan, countless shrines are dedicated to an animal or mythical creatures, and the dragon is one of the famous ones. We call them Ryujin Shrine (龍神神社), Dragon God Shrine. Japanese people go there to pray, pay a visit for good luck, and go sightseeing. People like me go there to discover the dragon's essence in that shrine and to look for extraordinary dragon sculptures.

One of my favorites is called Hirou Jinja (飛 "fly" 龍 "dragon" 神社)in Wakayama, a shrine built right next to the Nachi River, a river that looks like a dragon on the map. The torii gate is white, and the dragon sculpture is white. The long thin 133m waterfall you can see within the shrine is a magical one from which the shrine is named. I can feel why the shrine is built here, to protect and pay respect to this treasure. Where people pray, gods are born.

photo from

I like to see the different styles of the dragon too. Some are more similar to Chinese dragons or Thai dragons.


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