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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  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 Drums • Pilgrims • Prayers in the Wind • Water Pavillon • Shrine Garden Surprise Me

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