A hokora or hokura (祠 or 神庫) is a miniature Shinto shrine either found on the precincts of a larger shrine and dedicated to folk kami, or on a street side, enshrining kami not under the jurisdiction of any large shrine. Dōsojin, minor kami protecting travelers from evil spirits, can for example be enshrined in a hokora.
The term hokora, believed to have been one of the first Japanese words for Shinto shrine, evolved from hokura (神庫), literally meaning "kami repository", a fact that seems to indicate that the first shrines were huts built to house some yorishiro.
- The word yorishiro (依り代) literally means approach substitute. Yorishiro were tools conceived to attract the kami and give them a physical space to occupy, thus making them accessible to human beings.
- Encyclopedia of Shinto, Hokora. Accessed on December 14, 2009
- Tamura, Yoshiro (2000). "The Birth of the Japanese nation". Japanese Buddhism - A Cultural History (First ed.). Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Company. p. 232 pages. ISBN 4-333-01684-3.
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