The Enlightenment of Everyday Objects

Hidden shinto shrine in Kyoto Copyright © Content Catnip 2018

In ancient Japanese tradition, when a treasured household item reaches the end of usefulness, it is given the proper funerary send off that it deserves.

This unusual ritual harks back to two ancient philosophies. The Shinto Animist philosophy that all things alive or otherwise have a soul. And the Nichiren Buddhist philosophy that when a person attains enlightenment then all of the objects in their possession do as well.

The Enlightenment of Everyday Objects
Shinto Paper Offering

A Proper Goodbye For Needles and Pins: The Hari-kuyo Ritual

Each year on February 8th, seamstresses in Japan lay to rest their overworked implements in a proper burial. The needles and pins are placed into a block of tofu and the priest recites a sutra. Once this ceremony is completed the needles are buried either on land or at sea. A final show of thanks for their years of service.


The Enlightenment of Everyday Objects
Shinto Priest and Priestess

Do you have any everyday objects that have become infused with a sense of sacredness, that you are grateful for?

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

4 thoughts on “The Enlightenment of Everyday Objects

  1. I’ve heard of the content of the first philosophy you mentioned but I never knew its name. Shinto Animist philosophy is very much similar to what we have associated with Advaita Philosophy or the philosophy of Non Duality in Hinduism. It believes that everything in this universe is one (A=non and Dvaita=dual) and because everything is one everything has conscious. I’m really excited to know about the other one, Nichiren Buddhist philosophy. It’s something new I’ve heard and thought about. I mean that sounds really nice that once you are enlightened everything around is enlightened. I think it depends on our ability to devote our complete consciousness and awareness to a thing. Eckhart Tolle said that you’re the universe becoming aware of itself. I feel it relates to it too ❤️😊


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