Police in the Japanese city of Matsudo arrested a 72-year-old man on Wednesday for allegedly trying to curse Russian leader Vladimir Putin by nailing a straw doll bearing a picture of Putin’s face to a sacred Shinto shrine tree and including a note inside the doll. breast wishing the leader dead, Kyodo News reported.
The Matsudo-Higashi Police Station announced on June 15 that its officers arrested 72-year-old Mitsunobu Hino on suspicion of “breaking and entering and damaging property” at the local Mikazuki Shrine around 2:10 p.m. on May 19. the man as he entered the precincts of the sanctuary. It is believed that he created “4 centimeter deep holes” in a sacred “shinboku” tree so that he could attach his straw doll to the shrine.
“The doll’s face had what looked like a picture of Putin’s face attached with the kanji character for bad luck written across its forehead. Driving a nail into a straw doll is a traditional form of placing a curse on the individual that the doll represents, similar to voodoo dolls”, Asahi Shimbun diary noted Thursday.
“Police have confirmed similar Putin straw dolls at more than 10 shrines in the eastern Japanese city since May, and said there is a good chance the author is the same due to the resemblances. in the sizes of the dolls and the handwriting on the accompanying notes,” Kyodo News observed on Wednesday.
japanese man #stopped on Putin’s straw doll nailed to the shrine treehttps://t.co/i9pexmEhOu
— Kyodo News | Japan (@kyodo_english) June 16, 2022
Mikazuki Shrine in Matsudo was established over 800 years ago as a place of worship for the Shinto faith.
“It’s unthinkable that someone would nail something like this to a place where people come to pray for good health,” Nobuo Shibuya, an 81-year-old lay representative from Mikazuki Shrine, told Kyodo News on June 15.
Shintoism is an ancient and indigenous Japanese religion that is one of the most widely practiced religions in the country today. Shrine worship is a hallmark of the Shinto religion. The BBC details this aspect of Shintoism, writing:
There is no special day of the week for worship in Shinto – people visit shrines for festivals, for personal spiritual reasons, or to make a special request to the kami (this may be for luck when examination or to protect a family member). , etc).
Worship takes place in shrines built with a great understanding of the natural world. The contrast between human ritual and the natural world highlights how Shinto constructs and reflects human empathy for the universe.
The journey the worshiper makes through the sanctuary to the shrine where the ritual takes place is part of worship and helps the worshiper move spiritually from the everyday world to a place of holiness and purity.
Mitsunobu Hino apparently made a negative personal request to a Shinto kami or spirit by nailing his Putin doll to the Mikazuki Shrine tree.