Gary Cox wrote -
Be a part of history! Let's donate a torii for the first public Inari shrine in North America!
In 2014, Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, the Jinja Shinto shrine in Granite Falls, Washington, USA, enshrined Inari Ōkami on their grounds at a new, small outdoor Inari shrine. The Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America Inari shrine is the first public Inari shrine in mainland North America since at least WWII. Since its opening, thousands of visitors have come to worship, praying to Inari-sama for guidance and divine blessings. Many bring offerings, Inari-zushi or even art.
A custom of offering for Inari Ōkami exists that is unique among the Shinto kami. Individuals and businesses who are close to Inari Ōkami donate a bright, vermilion torii (sacred shrine gate) to an Inari shrine as an offering. These donated torii are then placed in a row, forming a "tunnel" through which visitors walk through as they approach the shrine. These tunnels are very unique to Inari Ōkami, and are among the most well-known images of Japan -- the head shrine of Inari Ōkami, Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, has over 10,000 such torii spanning kilometers of tunnels.
The Inari shrine at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America currently has one torii. Inari Faith International is an international organization of devotees to Inari Ōkami -- we believe that, with our combined efforts, we can donate a second torii to the shrine and begin the tunnel!
A single torii for the Inari shrine, including construction, laquering, delivery, and installation, costs approximately USD$3,500. While this may be out-of-reach to many shinja of Inari-sama, a smaller donation -- even of $10 or $20 -- goes a long way when we combine our offerings into one! The act of offering a torii has a three-fold purpose:
- Worship: The head shrine to Inari-sama, Fushimi Inari Taisha, considers torii donation itself to be a form of worship of Inari Ōkami.
- Thankfulness: Even if it sometimes might not seem so, we are always receiving the blessings of Ōkamisama. Giving a little bit back to Inari-sama is a way of acknowledging and honoring the kami's blessings.
- Prayer: Thanking Ōkami for our blessings, we can then also make a request for the future.
Please join us in this unique and beautiful devotional practice to Ō-Inari-san, while enriching the experience for Inari shrine visitors, and planting the seed for more Inari shrines across the world! As a group, let's accomplish this work as a physical token of our love for Inari Õkami...
All donators will be invited to attend the Houno-shiki (Shinto dedication ceremony) at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America. If you choose to make your name public at the time of your donation, your name will also be published on the torii dedication page of the Inari Faith International website. The torii itself will be inscribed with the text "稲荷信仰国際協会", the group's Japanese name.
Q. Where exactly does my donation go?
A. Your donation will be securely processed by CrowdRise (it will appear as CrowdRise's back-end system, Network for Good on your credit card statement) and they will transfer it directly to Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America. Inari Faith International does not receive, transact, or handle any money... it goes straight to the shrine! (You can verify this during check-out, where it will show TSUBAKI GRAND SHRINE INC, the shrine's legal entity, as the recipient)
Q. Can I donate from outside the United States?
A. Yes! On the billing information page, select your country at the bottom of the first section. Once you've done that, the "State/Province" field will open up, and you'll be able to enter an international address. Please note that since the shrine is located in the United States, your transaction will be conducted in US Dollars.
Q. Is my donation tax deductible?
A. Yes. As Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America is a US-Based 501(c)3 charitable organization, your donation is 100% tax deducible in the United States to the extent allowed by law. CrowdRise will email you a receipt that meets all IRS requirements for a record of your donation.
Q. When is Houno-shiki (Shinto dedication ceremony)?
A. This depends on how soon we have raised the funds for the torii, as well as how long construction and delivery of the torii takes. We will keep you in the loop!