Shamoji [しゃもじ]

Shamoji[しゃもじ] is a tool for scooping Gohan[御飯(ごはん)](cooked rice). This is also used for mixing rice with vinegar or ingredients. Shamoji is made of wood, bamboo or plastic. Today, that is generally made of embossed plastic in order to prevent rice from sticking and propagation of bacteria.


Shamoji is a traditional craft & souvenir of Miyajima(a.k.a. Itsukushima) Island[宮島 / 厳島(みやじま / いつくしま)], Hiroshima Prefecture.

One day of the end of 18th century, a Buddhist monk of Miyajima, Seishin[誓真(せいしん)] had a dream of Benzaiten[弁財天(べんざいてん)]. Ichikishimahimenomikoto[市寸島比売命(イチキシマヒメノミコト)] who is a goddess enshrined at Itsukushima Shrine[厳島神社(いつくしまじんじゃ)](Three gods are enshrined here.), that is a famous shrine of Miyajima, was identified with a Buddhist goddess, Benzaiten. Seishin produced Shamoji that resembles Biwa[琵琶(びわ)](a Japanese musical instrument) that Benzaiten has. Seishin taught the islanders how to make a Shamoji and that became a specialty of Miyajima.

Haritsu Ogawa - Benzaiten-zu
"Benzaiten-zu" by Haritsu Ogawa

Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine

On a shopping street leading to Itsukushima Shrine, you can buy Shamoji not only for practical use but as a lucky charm and there is the largest Shamoji in the world.

Shamoji of Miyajima for wishing health

The largest Sahmoji
The largest Shamoji

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