“No Trash” Shrine

The sign to the left is written poi sute kinshi (“discarding of cigarette butts is prohibited”) in an effort to stop forest fires. And on the right is a miniature version of the torii 鳥居 (gateway arch to a shrine) ordinarily seen at Shinto shrines. Here, however, it is found on an uninhabited stretch of rural road, not in the precincts of a shrine. Written along the top bar of the torii is gomi nashi jinja (“No Trash” Shrine).

Due to the surcharge incurred when disposing of household appliances and furnishings, some people simply choose to dump illegally. This clever placement of the torii sacralizes the space and forces the illegal dumper to think twice before abandoning their refuse. What penalty would befall someone who dare litter on sacred ground? (Photo: Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, 2008)gomi nashi jinja (Small)

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