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A lamp post advertising Kinoene soy sauce.


For some reason there are a few incredibly old lamp posts advertising a brand of soysauce that I think doesn't really sell internationally. I've seen it in supermarkets but never bought it. Guess I'll try it next time.

The kanji for it is 甲子, which is actually a word, rather than a name, although it can be used in names. "First of the sexagenary cycle." If you don't want to dig into that, think Chinese zodiac. So this shrine has a festival for it which occurs every 60 days.

Why a soysauce company would name itself that... I thought it might be something clever to do with the the year the company was founded (1830), but no, the closest years of the cycle are 1804 and 1864. According to the company website, they chose the name based on its significance in Onmyōdō - "first," and "rare."

Anyway, I ran across this shrine because I went to Komagome for the first time ever. The Kyu-Furakawa gardens were closed, so I was wandering along back streets towards a large cemetery when I passed by a guy playing with his little boy.

"Oh wait, I know that guy," I realized a moment later.

Turned out my completely arbitrary path had taken me right past their house. Ah, serendipity.

Published Jun 12, 2020

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