Lacquered wooden domestic shrine with 66 figures of Shinto and Buddhist deities, Japanese, 19th century
Inside this highly decorated Japanese shrine are 66 figures of both Shinto and Buddhist deities. It would have been placed in a wealthy family home or monastery. Such a shrine would have been known as a kamidana or “shelf of the gods”.
The shrine would have been used in ceremonial rituals with offerings to the deities to ensure physical healing and protection as well as financial or personal success for all the family. When worshipping at the kamidana, family members would give simple prayers, offer food such as rice and place flowers on the shrine. It was considered necessary for those worshipping to first wash their hands.