Okinawa Tourism Information:IshigantoThatDispelsApparitions

Ishiganto That Dispels Apparitions

post : 2014.10.31 16:00

If you walk around Okinawa, there are characters that are often seen. Do you know the reading of “石敢當”. It is read as ishiganto.

It is carved into stone. Do you know what it is for?

Actually, in Okinawa ishiganto is said to be protection from apparitions. It is believed that if apparitions, or as they are called in Okinawa dialect, mushimun, come into contact with ishiganto they will be dispelled.
Mushimun are said to move straight forward in nature and it is thought that if they run into a wall they will get back up and enter the house. So there are a lot of ishiganto placed at crossroad and forked room. While they are called ishiganto there are many types of them.  

The one I most often see is a black stone with white characters.

It is a standard type. Other than that

there are many types of ishiganto.

Even if the color and form change the characters for ishiganto don’t.

There are the rare horizontally written type

and the self made ishiganto.

It is probably cracked from a car running into it.

There is the type directly carved in stone.
The genuine hand written ones

I worry how effective it is.

If you look at it like this, there are many types of ishiganto. When you are taking a walk in Okinawa, it might be fun to search for the many types of ishiganto.

Okinawa Clip Photowriter Taiki Gushiken