Some Shinto devotees are apparently unhappy with DMM’s latest anthropomorphism title “Yashiro ni Hoheto”, bemoaning its shrines-as-anime-cuties theme as a religious affront of some sort or another.
The game transforms real world Shinto shrines into stylishly dressed Miko-girls that players can collect; however, the problem that more religious individuals seem to have with the title is the fact that each girl has an associated “fortune” (a tribute to the fortune-telling commonly offered by such shrines), which can range from good to bad and has caused many to regard the game as an insult.
So “offensive” has this detail proven that the Iwashimizu Hachimangu shrine in Kyoto is demanding that their shrine be removed from the trivial game – the previously released PV for Yashiro ni Hoheto:
Katsuji Iwahashi, the head of International Foreign Relations at the Association of Shinto Shrines, has also shown disapproval over the browser game, believing that the shrines are being misrepresented with a shallow understanding of the religion, additionally mentioning that fortunes offered at shrines are more subtle than being simply “good or bad” and that the game has drastically oversimplified them.
DMM have responded to the controversy by shockingly revealing that the shrine girls have no relation to their real-life counterparts and that the game is fictional, which depending on the stance adopted may be taken either as a transparent attempt to defend their profiteering off the ancient and sovereign kamigami and their associated enshrinements, or a reasonable defense of their creative efforts with the common cultural properties of the nation.
Even though Japan has made anthropomorphizations of various inanimate objects, from swords to castles and even fecal bacteria, shrines probably differ in having a host of very serious and solemn organizations built up around them, to say nothing of the role of religion in incensing believers against common cartoons.