Horse just wanted to help, official Twitter account says.

Like a lot of Shinto shrines, Osaka Prefecture’s Yoshikawa Hachimanjinja has its own Twitter account, which helps keep the local community informed of upcoming events and the seasonal beauty to be seen on its grounds.

But what’s unique about Yoshikawa Hachimanjinja’s social media presence is that there’s a separate account for Izume, the shrine’s goshimba, or sacred horse.

▼ Izume, hanging out with the shrine maidens

Not every shrine in Japan has a goshimba these days, and even those that do carry on the tradition often have a statue substitute instead of a live animal. Yoshikawa Hachimanjinja is old school, though, and even makes sure Izume gets exercise with gallops down rural roads.

In general, goshimba don’t have any day-to-day responsibilities, and are primarily just a symbol of the shrine. Recently, though, Izume decided to do a little remodeling by smashing the door of the shrine’s visitor restroom.

Izume’s tweet recounts the horse’s subsequent “conversation” with the shrine staff.

“I got scolded by my owners. ‘People who come to visit during the summer festival won’t be able to use the bathroom!’ they said. But the rainy season is done, and it’s getting really hot, and I figured this open-air style would also be good for ventilation in the current health climate.”

As a result of Izume’s “renovations,” the shrine’s account has put out a statement saying:

“Due to circumstances, the visitor restroom is unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.

For visitors and worshippers who do need to use the restroom, please speak with a priest or shrine maiden, and they will guide you to the staff restroom in the shrine office. Your eyes may meet those of the goshimba outside the window, but don’t worry, the horse is very friendly.”

Oh, and don’t assume you’re alone just because the window is closed, because…

…Izume can open it. But hey, as long as the wall stays intact, it’s still more privacy than the guest restroom offers these days.

Shrine information
Yoshikawa Hachimanjinja / 吉川八幡神社
Address: Osaka-fu, Toyono-gun, Toyono-cho, Yoshikawa 936

Source: Twitter/@yoshikawa8izume via Hachima Kiko
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