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Society

Losing my tradition: Japan's temples and shrines go cashless

Old clashes with new as digital saisen offerings raises issues among worshippers

Japan is updating its long tradition of visitors make small offerings at temples and shrines, in this case the equivalent of almost $1. (Photo by Kotaro Abe)

NAGOYA -- Long a bastion of centuries old traditions, Japan's Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are increasing going cashless, allowing visitors to replace small coin offerings with a quick swipe of their smartphones.

The reception has been mixed. While some tout the convenience of not having to deal with change, others worry that it is a difficult way to convey devotion, and other fret that it enables payment operators to track how individuals worship.

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