Artifact | Hokora

Japan today is a religious society in the way many modern Western countries are Christian: it’s a largely secular society informed by the ideas, values and philosophies of its religions, Shintoism and Buddhism—most notably Zen. Outwardly, religion in Japan is most visible in its many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines; Japanese spirituality can be witnessed in seasonal visits to temples and shrines and in religious rituals connected to significant events and life markers, such as the obligatory visit to a shrine during New Year or in traditional Buddhist funeral ceremonies. Miniature Shinto shrines, or *hokora*, can also be seen on streets or tucked away in a corner on the grounds of an office building, or on the roof of a department store.