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Publicly Defended

Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha - Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu omamori theives footage
HONOLULU —Security footage from a Honolulu Shinto shrine shows three men and a woman taking advantage of an honor system by stuffing $1,000 worth of spiritual amulets into their bags.

Shrine leaders say the brazen February theft of about 150 omamori amulets is especially offensive because the suspects were Japanese tourists.

Irene Takizawa, member of the shrine’s board of directors, says visitors are expected to leave at least $7 for an amulet. She says the stolen pieces have showed up for sale online.

Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu is known for having special Hawaii-themed omamori.

Takizawa says the shrine is upset about a recent letter from a Honolulu attorney threatening to sue the shrine for posting the footage online. She says the attorney claims it’s illegal to post their images without consent