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Chesters Dad
A dragon statue. Dragons which are a direct influence from China are important and frequent symbols in the Okinawan religion. Seen as guardians they are often placed in entrances and gateways to ward off evil spirits.
As with all animistic peoples the culture and lifestyle can be replete with rituals, superstitions, festivals and practices and the Okinawans are not any different. Homes of the first born son have "butsudons" or god shelf altars and are attended to daily by the lady of the house with incense burning, prayers, and offerings of sake and salt. Shrines, altars and fetishes are common in every neighborhood; every shoreline, mountain, or grove has a deity or demon associated with it; and it isn't unusual to see people doing rituals on the sidewalks attempting to ward off evil spirits per the instruction of their yuta. The high period of the calendar year for the Okinawan is Obon, a three day festival period in which they welcome home their ancestors, have a meal, make an offering and then send them off again with the hope that they enjoyed their stay and will bless them in the coming days.
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