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Inari

Inari

In the mythology of Japan, the god Inari is associated mainly with the growing of rice. Because of the importance of this crop as a staple food in Japan, Inari is thought to bring prosperity not only to farmers but also to other groups of people, including merchants and traders. Many Japanese villages have a shrine to Inari, and people pray to him for good harvests. Many Japanese families used to worship Inari inside their homes, and he is sometimes associated with Uke-mochi, the goddess of food.

Portrayals of Inari in art vary considerably. He is generally shown either as a bearded old man or as a woman with long flowing hair. Whatever form Inari takes, the god appears with bags of rice. He is usually accompanied by two foxes, which act as his messengers. Shrines to Inari often contain statues of foxes. The most famous shrine to Inari is the Fushimi Shrine near the ancient city of Kyoto in Japan.

See also Animals in Mythology; Japanese Mythology.

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Inari

Inari (Jap., probably from a place-name). The most popular agricultural deity of Japan, especially associated with rice. In the Heian period, Inari was increasingly associated with the official mythology of Shinto. Inari shrines especially feature the fox whose life-size statues usually flank the worship centre and whose phallus-like tails again reinforce the motif of sexuality and fecundity.

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"Inari." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Inari

Inari (ē´närē), Swed. Enare, lake, c.500 sq mi (1,290 sq km), N Finland. It is fed by the Ivalojoki and empties into the Arctic Ocean through the Paatsjoki. Lake Inari contains more than 3,000 islands and is a tourist attraction.

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