Scattered across the landscape of Japan are Shinto shrines of various shapes and sizes. In many of the larger shrines you’ll find one or more especially old trees known as Goshinboku which means “sacred tree.”
Sacred trees are usually massive in size and centuries old with some reportedly over 1,000 years old. You can usually tell them from the shimenawa wrapped around their trunks. A shimenawa is an extremely thick rope which encloses something holy and wards off evil from outside.
These age-old trees are beautiful specimens of nature’s strength and longevity and add an extra level of serenity to their shrines. However, in the past month someone or some group has been killing off these sacred trees of shrines in 5 separate prefectures in Japan’s mid-west.