FUJIN-RAIJIN

Fujin Raijin (Wind God and Thunder God, respectively) are one of the oldest pairs of Shinto religion gods. For many Japanese, the word FUJIN-RAIJIN conjures the image of two fierce (and somewhat ugly) looking creatures painted by Tawaraya Sotatsu (dates of birth and death unknown).The one carrying a long (often white) sack on his shoulders is FUJIN and the one appearing to be standing in a large ring is RAIJIN. Fujin is said to have been present at the creation of the world and when he first let the winds out of his sack, it cleared the morning mists which filled the Gate between heaven and earth so the sun shone. RAIJIN, on the other hand, is believed to control thunder. He created thrunder by beating the small drums attached to the large ring. Unlike other traditional paintings, fujin-raijin is relatively popular (especially among certain groups of men) and are often used t-shrit, jacket and knit hat, jeans and other apparel items.

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