[aside: Japanese Jesus’ Mom is a fox NSFW]
Morality questions abound today.
Is exploiting superstition for the environment acceptable?
In Japan torii gates are put up around the countryside to discourage people from littering and urinating outdoors. Traditional Japanese are little hung up on sacred concepts, the idea of littering or otherwise descrating something that even resembles a sacred site would be unthinkable. If movies have taught us anything it’s that Japanese ghosts do not have a habit of being friendly (The Ring, The Grudge, One Missed Call …)
I too had thought that roadside torii marked nearby shrines. Maybe in some places they do. I’m also aware that illegal dumping is a serious issue in Japan. Waste management is often costly and overly-beaurocratic, so often on wilderness and roadside mountain hikes we would find dumped televisions, broken stereo equipment, and one occassion a box of very old and disturbing porno magazines.
Would Jesus statues and/or crosses work similarly in the West?