Shinme at Daishogun Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

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Shinme at Daishogun Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

Long, long ago, people used to sacrifice horses at Shinto shrines (don’t look so shocked, every culture has had its fair share of sacrifices in history). That custom transformed into parishioners giving live horses to shrines for the shrine to care for (some shrines still keep live horses). That said, it’s not cheap keeping all of these non-sacrificial horses around, so the tradition transformed again and now people will generally gift shrines with statues of horses.

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