Japanese Heritage
Syncretic Sound Generator
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A Shrine or a Temple?

In Japan, shrines serve the Shinto tradition, while temples serve Buddhists. Shrines have an entrance gate, called torii, to separate the holy ground from the secular world and a water pavillon, called the temizuya, to purify the body. At their altar, people ring a bell to greet the deity, throw coins as an offering, and clap their hands twice to express their appreciation. Prayers are written on small wooden plaques, named ema, which will rattle when the wind blows. Buddhist temples always house a statue of Buddha and display pagodas, those multi-tiered towers associated with Asian culture, and they smell of incense too.

That is the theory. In practice, you will find water pavilions in many Japanese temples as well as votive tablets and small torii gates. In Japan, both religions coexist peacefully. It is more than a coexistence: many Japanese people believe in both religions. Shinto and Buddhism were naturally mixed together for centuries. It was only in 1868, after the Meiji Restoration, that the government ordered the separation of Shinto from Buddhism. However, syncretism – the mixing of different traditions – is present in Japan. Buddhist-style fire rituals, shintoist prayers, and indigenous mountain mysticism are often amalgamated. This soundscape has been recorded in different temples and shrines around Kyoto, during my sampling session in Japan, in spring 2017.

Testimonials - write yours here

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  The rhythmic pattern of this nose really helps me stay on task, I turn down the talking because it distracts me but the drums a function as a sort of metronome for me and help me continue working at a consistent pace and not venture off the task at hand. I am very ADHD and unmedicated due to the side effects of medication, And I really struggle with staying focused. This sound is very helpful.

  I do like this one a lot! I was really upset when I stumbled upon this soundtrack. In about a minute, I was calm and peaceful. I could listen to this all day!

  This was exciting to experiment with, I found this while working on a soundscape assignment in my World Music class, it helped me to relax and clear my head. It amazes me how a few small changes can create a whole new ambience.

  I love this one for the rattle of the wooden prayers, the bubbling water, and the clang of the bells--no pilgrims. To boost that sense of calm isolation, I like to pair this with Primeval Forest, bringing in some birds and wind so it's like being in a remote forest temple.

  Man, this reminds me so much of the Fushimi Inari Taisho in Kyoto; on my last day in Japan I climbed to the top of the smaller-than-a-mountain, bigger-than-a-hill that it lives on and took the wrong path down; I got very, very lost and ended up eventually in a village on the other side away from the shrine! But I could hear the bells the whole time I was wandering.

  I was fortunate enough to call Kyoto home for five years, but I've been away from it for five years now. This is a lovely reminder of some of the noises of my old home, and for that I am thankful. Thank you.

  Another awesome generator. At this setting, I am able to stay calm and alert while blocking excess noise. I even use noise canceling headphones, but often they're not enough to block all unwanted noises. So I popped this generator on and I'm so thankful for it.

  Works surprisingly well with Himalayan Voices. This combination really helped me focus even after a long and busy day. A real masterpiece as always! Thank you!

  Thank you very much for this little space of peace, listening to already about 2 hours and it's great. And, of course, thanks for a special "wiki", the comments to the sounds, it's very important to know something behind it.

  This is so soothing. I turned off all the "human" sounds so that I could imagine being at a remote shrine with just the natural elements around me. Beautiful. Thanks again, Dr. Pigeon for another audio journey.

  The shinsengumi had their last headquarters in the Drum Tower of Nishi Honganji Temple. I never expected to be able to create the scene for my new novel so precisely... but here we are!

  This is so restful! It feels like I am in a garden near a shrine, even though I've never been. Thanks for such a great generator again!

  Whoa! I've been thinking about visiting Kyoto sometime to see the countryside and check out the torii at the Fushimi Inari shrine. Now I can kinda visit from my room while I wait for the time to come.

  I love this generator. It simultaneously provides a feeling of calm and alertness, and is also very effective at blocking out background noise in the office while I'm concentrating on tasks.

  So happy I donated today... this is another wonderful generator!

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Ritual DrumsPilgrimsPrayers in the WindWater PavillonShrine Garden Surprise!

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Each slider controls a particular audio stream; adjust sliders to taste and mood. The animation button turns the soundscape into an slowly evolving texture. Use this feature if you intend to listen to the generator over a long period of time!