Straw dolls with Putin’s face found nailed to sacred tree in Japan

Dolls made of straw with the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin

In the Japanese prefecture of Chiba, east of Tokyo, straw dolls have been found with the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin and notes calling for his execution. In Japanese, these dolls are called “wara ningyo” dolls and are used culturally to ward off evil. They have also been used as part of supernatural rituals, where the dolls themselves represent the curse.

A police investigation has been launched to find out who these people are who glued these dolls to a sacred tree. According to news week, a straw doll was found at Mikazuki Shrine in Matsudo, hammered with two long nails through the areas representing the doll’s chest and head. Attached was a note that read: “Vladimir Putin, born October 7, 1952. Pray for his extermination.”

According to a report in the Japanese daily newspaper the Mainichi, the locals are not happy with the desecration of sacred trees. According to the publication, local residents stated that they wanted “the sacred trees to be treated with respect”, and also pointed out that “shrines are not a place to curse people”.

Yukihiro Tajima, an official at the Mikazuki Shrine, spoke to the local newspaper and said, “I can understand the feeling that I want the war to end… But please stop doing such things to the sacred tree.”

Last month, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said Quad member states (US, India, Australia, Japan) oppose the unilateral change of the status quo by force.

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