Please share the message! For a society without abuse! Looking for protest activity participants early morning on New Year’s day.

December 8, 2016

Please share the message!
For a society without abuse!
Looking for protest activity participants early morning on New Year’s day.

If you wish to stop the infliction of pain, and fatally cruel handling, won’t you join our protest activity at Suwa Taisha Shrine?
It will be early morning, on January 1st.
If you come from far away, we can coordinate accommodation and car-sharing.
Please contact us as soon as possible.


Eliminate "sacrifice" from Japan before the Tokyo Olympics!

Cases of bizarre incidents involving the casual taking of human life continue to increase.
Also abuse of the weak escalate year by year.
We must stop this trend.

Overseas, “sacrifice”, events inflicting pain and death, have been abolished one after another.
We want to start by abolishing this cruel “sacrifice”.

This "sacrifice" event has been justified under the name of Shinto ritual.
However, it is cruel, and this raises concern about it’s influence on young people.
Unfortunately, Suwa Taisha Shrine still continues doing “sacrifice” of the creatures even now.
Suwa Taisha Shrine impales the live frog, skewering it to death as “sacrifice” every year on New Year's Day. (“frog hunting” / “Kawazugari”)

We will protest again on New Year’s day, 2017, at Suwa Taisha Shrine.
For a the society without abuse!
Please support us.

Some people say it is just the frog.
But it was humans in old times.



Still now, the living frog is killed by impalement in the “frog hunting” on New Year’s day.

Please send your voice to Suwa Taisha Shrine.
We ask that they use a substitute, an effigy such as a doll, or ornament of frog, rather than using a living frog.

Nagano Suwa Taisha Shrine.
TEL : 0266-52-1919

We will protest again on New Year’s day 2017 at Suwa Taisha Shrine.
If you want to join us, please contact us.

What if Suwa Taisha shrine made a boy “sacrifice” in old times.

October 3, 2016

What if Suwa Taisha shrine made a boy “sacrifice” in old times.

Eliminate "sacrifice" from Japan before the Tokyo Olympics!
Stop the Shinto ritual of frog hunting at Suwa Taisha shrine every January 1st.

History of “sacrifice” in Suwa Taisha shrine:

It is said that in old times, Suwa Taisha shrine made a boy “sacrifice”.

The Oniebashira, which is a pillar to which a boy is tied, is moved to the center of an altar.
The Guji, (chief priest) chants prayers to the Oniebashira while other participants offer Tamagushi (literally "jewel skewer”).
Oniebashira was thought of as the representative of god.
A boy was called Okou (messenger of god), and “sacrificed”.
According to the pamphlet of the museum of Jincho Kanmoriya Shiryokan, in Kayano-city, the boys were killed for Shinto ritual.


75 deers were beheaded.
Now they use stuffed animals.

A rabbit had also been skewered.

A pheasant is captured alive but then released.

Still in present times frogs are skewered alive as part of a Shinto ritual at Suwa Taisha Shrine every January 1st.
We hope they will switch to using substitutes like dolls instead of live frogs.


Please send your voice to Suwa Taisha Shrine.
Suwa Taisha shrine (Nagano) TEL 0266-52-1919

We will protest again on January 1st, 2017 at Suwa Taisha Shrine.
Please join us!!
If you living far from Nagano, it is possible to organize accommodation.

☆Visiting Suwa Taisha Shrine.

January 1, 2016
☆Visiting Suwa Taisha Shrine.

We want Suwa Taisha Shrine to stop the Shinto sacrifice ritual of stabbing frogs to death.
Don’t use living creatures!








There were more people than last year.
More people started to be interested in our appeals.
Our opinion and request have never been accepted, but I hope we can discuss this with the shrine in the future.

We continue this activity for an animal that shares with us no common language.

☆Our thoughts on the Shinto ritual at Suwa Taisha Shrine (impaling living frogs).(January 1, 2016)


On January 1, 2016, we visited Suwa Taisha Shrine to request the abolition of "Ikenie“ (“sacrifice”) remaining in Japan.

What is this tradition?
We too think preservation of tradition is important.
But “tradition” should change, depending on what people can accept at the time.
This is how we can preserve the spirit of the tradition.

It is consistent with the history of human wisdom to abolish “Ikenie" (“sacrifice”), and use a substitute.
Though animal sacrifice and animal rituals are part of our traditional culture, "votive tablets" or "clay images" are now used in substitution for live horses.
Suwa Taisha Shrine conducted sacrifices involving the beheading of 75 deer until Meiji period.
But now they use stuffed deer as a substitute.
According to one report, the Meiji government prohibited it as having been too cruel.
But the Suwa Taisha Shrine explaination is that they changed it to follow contemporary trends.
In their museum, they exhibit the deer head and skewered rabbit.
We can see the records of Shinto ritual.
They have already stopped such animal sacrifice, and use substitutes.
We think frog sacrifice rituals shouldn’t use live frogs.

Generally “Ikenie” has changed from human women, children, big animals, small animals, and fish, to food, like rice cakes.
We can say this is the wisdom of people valuing and sparing life.
The Suwa Shrine in Kyoto already uses ceramic substitutes for the frogs.
Ikushima Tarashima Shrine in Nagano enacts shooting a bow and arrow on a bridge rather than killing frogs.
We want to ask for the use of substitutes or enactments as representations of the spirit of hope for abundant harvest.
Such trends are not only found in Japan.
For example, the Gadhimai Festival, in a Nepal temple, which is the world’s largest animal sacrificial slaughter, has been prohibited indefinitely due to the protest of many people.
As for bullfighting in Spain, they are planning events that don’t harm bulls.
(In Spain, already prohibition of bullfighting is increasing, and it’s practice is declining).
Traditional cultural rituals, especially the killing of animals, is changing, being abolished in favour of the use of substitutes or symbolic enactments.

It is possible for tradition to be compatible with animal welfare.
To protect the Shinto frog-hunting ritual of Suwa Taisha Shrine, it is better to avoid cruelty.
“Animal welfare” and “traditional culture and events” don’t require a choice between the two things. It is possible for them to be compatible.
We are not asking for abolishment of the Shinto ritual, but requesting the use of a substitute.
“Ikenie” is not acceptable in international society.

Before we made our appeal to Suwa Taisha Shrine, we and another association asked for this improvement in a letter of inquiry, but their answer was always the same; that it is a traditional Shinto ritual, and they will continue it.
We want the local people and Ujiko (parishioner) to be aware of this issue.
This is why we visited Suwa Taisha Shrine on January 1, and will continue this activity.

We want to ask all of you, in the interest of international movements toward historic change, to be aware that Suwa Taisha Shrine still sacrifices live frogs. The global community is now calling the appropriateness of such religious practices into question.

Our voice is small, but we believe that history will prove us right, perhaps 10 years or 20 years later.
Thank you so much for your cooperation exploring this information.

Gadhimai Temple in Nepal says no more animal sacrifice!

Gadhimai Temple in Nepal says no more animal sacrifice!

The world is changing.
How long Suwa Taisha Shrine continue such sacrifice culture?


Please spread information to your friends overseas about the abolition, or use of substitutes, for the Shinto ritual involving live frogs on skewers at Suwa Taisha shrine.



We, Inuneko Kyusainowa, and TNR Japan Animal Welfare hospital, oppose the Shinto ritual involving live frogs on skewers in Suwa Taisha shrine in Nagano prefecture.

The Shinto ritual using frogs is a cruel ritual involving the sacrifice of live frogs on skewers every year on January 1.
We have been requesting abolishment of this ritual, or the use of substitutes.

This year on January 1, we went to Suwa Taisha shrine to protest with other humane associations and lawyers.
They said that it has been a traditional Shinto ritual for a long time, and they won’t stop.
We couldn’t make them stop, but the discussion has been heating up in the media.

We think the tradition should change in form, in line with the change of consciousness of people, and with the times.
In fact, in the past Suwa Taisha shrine sacrificed and beheaded 75 deer. According to one report, the Meiji government prohibited this because of the extreme cruelty.
In the museum of Suwa Taisha shrine, deer’s heads and skewered rabbits are exhibited.
We could witness their cruel ritual.

It is sophism that they don’t stop because of tradition.
Most of the traditional Shinto rituals in Suwa Taisha shrine have abolished sacrifice, or use substitutes.
Ikushimatarushima shrine in Nagano stopped using live frogs, and just imitates sacrifice by shooting the bow.

Frogs are easier to get than deer or rabbits.
Or maybe they are easier to kill.
However, people recognized that sacrificing deer, and skewering rabbits, is cruel.
We, in present time, strongly reject the idea of showing this ritual to children.
It is said that young criminals begin by abusing small creatures like frogs, then move on to cats, and then finally people.
There is concern about he how abuse of small creatures might influence young minds and bodies.

Please think about it, and share this information with your friends.


We continue to demand that Suwa Taisha shrine use a substitute, rather than using a live frog for this cruel Shinto ritual.

■You should stop cruelties to any creature

■Cruelty of adults is virtually handed down to children via live frogs on skewers

■Stop the skewering of live frogs! Request a substitute,

■The Japanese should open their hearts and love small lives.


Every year on January 1st, Suwa Taisha shrine holds a Shinto ritual in which they dig up the torpid frogs, and kill them by impaling them on skewers.
What kind of meaning will this useless torture-killing have in present times?

“Kawazugari Shinji” is a traditional shinto ritual at Suwa Taisha Shrine.
They skewer live frogs with a tree branch.
We want to make them stop the infliction of pain and suffering on the animal.
Please call Suwa Taisha shrine, and tell them to use a substitute instead of a living frog.

TEL 0266-52-1919

I went to Suwa Taisha on January 1st, 2015 and asked for a halt to skewering living frogs, and the use of substitutes.
More people will go there next January 1st, and I will go again with them.
If you want to raise a voice for abused, weak animals who have no words, please come with us.
Cruelty must be stopped.
Let's stop the useless killing.

If you want to come with us, please contact us.


Weekly magazine “Syukan Shicho” wrote a “List of of animal welfare stupidity”.

September 25, 2015
Weekly magazine “Syukan Shicho” wrote a “List of of animal welfare stupidity”.



Are people stupid who protest skewering living frogs, or having dog fights, or biting and eating living snakes?

This is a weekly magazine, “Shukan Shincho”, which was published today.
There’s an article dedicated to the bashing of an animal protection group.
The writer is Jyun Mishina, who seems biased against the animal protection group.

In this report, there is a part bashing the people who protest the skewering of living frogs at Suwa Taisha shrine, in Nagano.

Mr. Mishina mentioned only the comments of Ujiko (Shrine parishioners).
One said that “The river where the frogs live is a sanctuary. A woman protested in the river and this is unforgivable! I have seen this Shinto ritual since I was child, I have never heard that this is cruelty.”

However, the Mitarai river does not belong to Suwa Taisha shrine.
This means the frogs living there do not belong to the shrine.
The fact that the local people think it is not cruelty doesn’t disprove claims of others that it is.

I have to say that Mr. Mishina’s report is so thoughtless.

He also said that people who protest dog fights and snake women are stupid.
Is it really so?
People who demand an end to skewering living frogs, or having dogs fight, or biting living snake are stupid?
Who is stupid??


Mr. Mishina did aggressive coverage of CAPIN, who has been terribly busy supporting the animals suffering from flood disaster in Jyoso, Ibaraki.

This is from CAPIN’s blog on September 22.

We are running around Jyoso to support the suffering animals day and night.
The other day, I had a call from Mr. Jyun Mishina from Syukan Shincho.

He said that he is now preparing a report on “Excessive animal protection”.
I want to write about you.

It is difficult to understand why he wants write about us for such an article.
We have no time to sleep because of Jyoso now.
I think this is interference with animal protection activity.
This week is "Be Kind to Animal Week”.
It is a time to educate the mind concerning animal protection.
Obviously the situation of animal protection in Japan is considerably far behind the world tide. Just think about the huge number of dogs and cats killed, abusive systems of distribution of dogs and cats, execrable pet shops and puppy mills, lack of advanced sterilization and animal experiment regulation. and rampant abandonment.

I think media should contribute to the country, to make a better society, and not just echo public opinions that enflame emotional response. They should study hard, know the world situation, and enlighten the consciousness of the nation.

However, Syukan Shicho is making this report on “Excessive animal protection”.

How can they write such a report during "Be Kind to Animals Week”?

The answering machine of my cell phone had relentless entries.

Yesterday on the 20th, he said if I don’t answer him, he will write that I have no comment regarding this.
He needs to talk to me tonight for the dead line.

He sent me the questionnaire by e-mail.
I was too busy and my colleague answered.
She asked to be able to review the manuscript in advance, but he refused.

I made a call in protest to Mr. Mishina, and also Mr. Shinya Hagiwara in the editorial department of the Shukan Shincho.
Talking to Mr. Mishina was out of the question.

Mr. Hagiwara planned and edited this article.
He appeared in court as a witness when Shinchosha publishing Co., Ltd. sued Mr. Masaru Sato.
This time, Mr. Hagiwara requested freelance journalist Mr. Mishina.

It was about the Shinto ritual involving skewering living frogs in Suwa Taisha shrine in Nagano.
We have been demanding the use of effigies instead of using living frogs.

■Opinion of Shinchosha.

“How you can defy authority? What is wrong with doing the traditional event?”

“It is annoying to have you standing with placards on January 1st.”

This is what Mr. Mishina said.

Mr. Hagiwara said that he feels the same way.

Now so many people gather around the Diet to protest government policy.
The protest movement embodies freedom of expression, accepted by the nation.

If the nation makes an objection, and declares intentions to become more authoritarian,
If freedom of expression is denied, we must call it despotism.

People who are involved with journalism must be sensitive concerning freedom of expression.
The media should stop authoritarianism, and protect the nation, and should lead it in the proper direction calmly and intellectually, based on facts, to prevent the nation from allowing “tradition” and “authority” to rationalise persecution of human rights and freedoms.

Only 10 people stood in the snow to oppose the skewering of living frogs.

They called it“bothersome”, that I would write such a bashing article.

Mr. Mishina and Mr. Hagiwara said this is totally personal.
Then are prepared for an attack on us.
I asked them what their sources will be.

I couldn’t get a clear answer for that.

They just kept saying it is tradition.

The local newspaper can’t write freely about this because of the power of Suwa Taisha shrine.
Are we prey to the cause of increased subscribers?

If it is “personal” thing, they should tweet it in social media.

They don’t care about the source, historic considerations, world movements, or the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals.
They just kept saying it is against tradition.
What kind of journalism is this?

The influence that the media has on the nation is immeasurable.

Finally Mr. Hagiwara said to me “Then you should not have answered to us.”
When I asked about who is in charge of this article, he told me to look in the back of magazine.

Infant characteristics of the Japanese journalism were exposed again.

This is the questionnaire from Mr. Mishina.


I am a writer for Shukan Shincho, Jyun Mishina.

Please excuse me for contacting you so suddenly.

By the way, in the issue of September 24th, there will be a special topic regarding the issue of animal welfare.

I have some questions about the Shinto ritual of frog hunting in Suwa Taisha shrine.

I would appreciate if you can give me answers for the questions below, hopefully by noon tomorrow.

1. Are you going to protest next year too?

2. What is your slogan this year?
Also tell me the contents of your speech.

3. Animal welfare is a holy concept.
But also frog hunting in Suwa Taisha is a traditional holy event for local people.
I think it seems rude to step into it, but are you going to continue such protests?

4. I heard that when the shrine captures frogs, the activists protested by lying in the river.
Also that an activist slipped, and fell down while going to the river.
Is that true?


We tried to answer him on the phone, but he was so insincere, misquoting.
So my colleague sent him the e-mail below.


If you write about frog hunting, please mention what is written below.

Suwa Taisha shrine doesn’t have authority to exclude people from Mitarai river.
The Shinto ritual, which is against the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals, is indefensible.
As for Ujiko (Shrine Parishners), an assault claim by people from animal welfare organization and myself may be established.
The Shinto ritual of skewering the hibernating, passive frog is contrary to wishes for a good harvest, and is damaging the image of the Emperor, who is the figurehead of Shinto, and Japan, which assumes the Emperor as symbol.
When I compare the Shinto ritual frog hunting in Suwa Taisha with frog hunting at Ikushima Tarushima Shrine, it is rational to think that originally a human being was considered to be skewered and burning to death as sacrifice.
Suwa Taisha had another Shinto ritual until Meiji era, cutting the throats of 75 deer and exhibit their heads.
(This was also an important tradition as Shinto ritual. If it happened now, it would cause bashing from all over the world, like a Sushi restaurant which served living frogs.
It is necessary for Japan to recover itself from a prewar mistake.

Please mention these things.
I expect an objective and fair article.


Hope for a better society, without cruelty.
☆Short movie of Shinto ritual of skewering living frogs in Suwa Taisha in 2015.

I went to Suwa Taisha on January 1st, 2015 and asked for a halt to skewering living frogs, and the use of substitutes.
More people will go there next January 1st, and I will go again with them.
If you want to raise a voice for abused, weak animals who have no words, please come with us.
Cruelty must be stopped.
Let's stop the useless killing.

If you want to come with us, please contact us.

Contact of Suwa Taisha Shrine.
TEL 0266-52-1919


About Us

Message from Akiko Yui, President and Founder of TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital
I believe that helping animals in need, existing in symbiosis with animals, and fostering a loving heart lead to an improvement in one’s character of kindness and generosity. The killing of animals due to decisions made by administration goes against my firm belief in preventing cruelty to animals. Animal Rescue Fund’s most important goal is to reduce the number of animals killed in Japan to zero by urging administration to change, reform, and improve the prevention of cruelty to animals. In order to reduce the number of animals in need, we work to raise awareness and support for the importance of sterilization operations. Each year, we spay and neuter more than 1000 stray cats. We are always putting animals up for adoption to help those lives already born in finding a loving home.

TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital:
We first opened our TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital in February of 2011 in an effort to make our dream a reality - to lower the number of dogs and cats killed in Japan to zero. At our hospital, we spay and neuter cats to reduce the number of unfortunate stray cats. Our hospital strives to help unfortunate animals in need of medical care.
The lives of numerous pets and livestock were lost as a result of the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan on March 11th 2011 and the radiation disaster caused by the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Animal Rescue Fund goes directly to the 20km evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant to rescue animals.
Animal Rescue Fund is based in Kanagawa Prefecture’s TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital. Therefore, the animals that we rescue from Fukushima Prefecture are brought to TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital located in Kanagawa Prefecture. Here, the rescued animals receive medical care and are returned to their owners or are put up for adoption.
We also work in urging the government and administration of Japan to support the protection of animals in need.





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