Shimenawa are lengths of braided rice straw rope used for ritual purification in the Shinto religion - to ward against evil spirits and are often set up at a ground-breaking ceremony before construction begins on a new building. They are often found at Shinto shrines, torii gates, and sacred landmarks.
Meoto Iwa (夫婦岩) are a couple of small rocky stacks in the sea off Futami, Mie, Japan joined by a shimenawa, considered sacred by worshippers at the neighbouring Futami Okitama Shrine. According to Shinto, the rocks represent the union of the creator of kami, Izanagi and Izanami. The rocks celebrate the union in marriage of man and woman. The rope weighing over a ton, must be replaced several times a year in a special ceremony. The larger rock, said to be male, has a small torii at its peak.