Akasaka Toyokawa Inari Shrine

The Akasaka Toyokawa Inari is a Shinto shrine. The Inari Okami is a Japanese deity of fertility, rice, agriculture, foxes, industry and worldly success. The Kitsune, (fox in Japanese) is the common animal effigy associated with the Inari. These fox statues are often adorned with red yodarekake (votive bibs). The venerated canine forms often hold a symbolic item in their mouths or beneath a front paw—often a jewel or a key. A sheaf of rice, a scroll, or a fox cub or a family of cubs are also common representations.

The Kitsune, (fox in Japanese) is a messenger of the Inari Okami.

Faithful intentions written on the bibs with hopes for a child. 

There would often be little offerings of coins placed at the feet or on the top of the heads of the statues, no matter what size they were.


The flash of the red bib and flags was so stark on a cold and clear winter's day. I had to fight an incredible urge to take one home with me.