Offering Box



Daruma Pilgrims Gallery


Offering Box, coin box, money box
saisenbako 賽銭箱, box for donations
offertory box

A box for the money offerings in front of a Buddhist temple or Shinto Shrine.
You place your money in the box and then make a wish in your prayer. (This is maybe a form of heavenly corruption ... ?)

Most commonly you put in 12 yen, which reads "yuunibun", so the merit will come back to you 12-fold. Somel people also throw in a handful of the first rice of the season as an offering to the harvest gods.

Others suggest to throw in a five-yen coin with a hole.

During the first Shrine or Temple visit of the New Year, people wait in rows for their turn to pray, some even throw their coins from far back and they might fall on the persons praying in front.

Saisenbako Photo Gallery

GOOGLE with Saisenbako !

These boxes can be elaborately carved and decorated, according to the purse of the donor.
This one is from Okudaira Shrine, Nakatsu, Beppu.

奥平神社 大分県中津市

... ... ...

They even come with a little roof, to protect the contents.

Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja, miya, guu) Japan

Temple, Buddhist Temple (tera, -ji) Japan


. . . . . . . H A I K U

yabu shiri no saisenbako ya ume no hana

behind the thicket
an offering box...
plum blossoms

yabu-jiri no saisen-bako ya haru no ame

behind the thicket
an offering box...
spring rain


Tr. David Lanoue



Unknown said...

Thank you Gabi san for your information on offering box that is very helpful to get understanding about Issa's Haiku.


Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Tokushima 国府町 Kokufu town
hebi oosama 蛇王様 The Snake King
In a grove was a sacred place for 蛇王大明神 Jao Daimyojin, who always granted wishes.
Since there was no sanctuary, villagers had put up a flag there and placed saisenbako 賽銭箱 an offering box.
Once a bamboo cutter saw the tail of daija 大蛇 a huge serpent on this spot and ran home in fear.
That was the beginning of the veneration.
But soon the police forbid going to this place and it had to be abolished.