In Japan, every year in early June, the Japan Fur Association gives thanks in an important Shinto ceremony called “Service for Fur Animals,” co-organised by JFA and its partner, Tokyo Fur Commerce and Industry Cooperative, to honour fur animals. It is a very special event for the Japanese fur trade and in it they renew their pledge to take good care of the animals and their fur and to not waste it.
Dating back to 1947 when the Cooperative was established, the ceremony is held in Sensoji Temple, the famous symbol of the Asakusa area of Tokyo. The Sensoji Temple is a well-known tourist spot, with a gate called “Kaminari-mon,” sacred to the Gods of Wind and Thunder, along with a great hanging lantern – a popular picture opportunity for visiting tourists.
The Japanese fur trade strongly believes in the respectful use of animals and the natural products that they produce and this special Shinto ceremony to remake their pledge to uphold this respectful use is an important religious day for Japanese fur traders.