Hatsumode(The first shrine/temple visit of the year)

People say that most Japanese people don't affiliate themselves with a relgion.
But is that true?

The approach to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine

This was the approach to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine around 3 p.m. yesterday.
There were a lot of people.
Most people are coming for a visit, not for sightseeing.
Today, many people are visiting many shrines in Japan.
This is annual.
Every January 1, 2 and 3, many Japanese visit the shrine.
January 1, 2 and 3 are days when many Japanese people become Shinto believers who are very enthusiastic.
And, actually, on those days many people are visiting temples , too.
January 1, 2 and 3 are days when many Japanese people become Buddhist believers who are very enthusiastic, too.
And there are a lot of people going to visit both.
Many Japanese are believers of Shinto and believers of Buddhism.
It is said that a total of 100 million people visit in these three days.
Some people go to several shrines and temples by themselves, so not all Japanese are visiting, but it is certain that so many people are worshiping.
However, this is only the three days, there are not many people visiting on other days.
We call "Hatsumode" to visit shrines and temples in these three days.
Many Japanese believe in God.
But many Japanese don't belong to any particular religion.
Many Japanese people believe in yaoyorozu gods from long ago.
Yayorozuzu means that it is nearly infinite though it writes eight million.
It means that many Japanese people believe in nearly myriad God.
For many Japanese people there are Gods everywhere.
And most of gods in Japan are not almighty gods but professional gods in each field.
So many people have awe in many gods.
And many people visit many shrines and temples.
When a child is born, you visit a shrine, a wedding ceremony is done in the Christ church, and when you die, you often do a funeral in a Buddhist way.
There are several religious ceremonies in Japanese life.
(1)Omiya-mairi
When your child is born, you will bring your child within a month to visit the shrine.
(2)Shichi-go-san
You will bring your daughter to the shrine when your daughter is 7 and 3 years old.
And You will bring your son to the shrine when your son is five years old.
(3)Wedding ceremony
In the past, Wedding ceremonies were often held at Shinto]style.
These days many wedding ceremonies are held in Christian style.
(4)Anzan-kigan
You will visit temples and shrines so that you can give birth safely when you become pregnant.
(5)Yaku-yoke
When women are mainly 33 years old and men are mainly 42 years old they visit a temple or a shrine.
(6)Funeral
Funeral services are generally held in accordance with Buddhist rituals.
(7)Nenki-hoyo
Buddhist monk regularly gives you a sutra after your death.
There are still more besides these.
So Japanese people answer that they are non religious because they do not believe in only one religion when asked what religion you believe.


(January 2, 2018)

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