Sacred shrine flooded with Doraemons
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Sacred shrine flooded with Doraemons

AYUTTHAYA - A large number of plush toys of Doraemon, a beloved Japanese cartoon character, have been placed as offerings at a sacred shrine inside historic Wat Yai Chaimongkol temple in Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya district. The sight has amused passersby, especially Japanese tourists.

                 Doraemons are seen in Than Por Sitthichai shrine in Ayutthaya province. Photo by Sunthon Pongpao.

Both Thai and foreign tourists were amazed to see Than Por Sitthichai shrine, located in front of the temple's entrance, packed with Doraemon plush toys of various sizes alongside traditional effigies.

The teak shrine which is elevated a metre from the ground was erected in memory of an unborn prince who died when his mother, Sunandha Kumariratana, one of King Rama V's consorts, was involved in a boating accident in 1880. Many locals pray at the shrine and if their wishes are fulfilled, they lay down toys and children's clothing as offerings.

Later, stuffed Doraemon dolls were offered by the people, whose prayers were answered, believing that the prince's spirit would be pleased with the popular Japanese cartoon character just as Thai children are.

It is believed that prayers wishing for a child would mostly be answered if they promise to offer the prince the Doraemon dolls.

Japanese tourists often stop to take photos of their favourite character inside the shrine. A Thai visitor said that she had never seen any shrine filled with so many Doraemon toys before.

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