MyShinto      前へPrevious Page 前へ Next Page 次へ 次へ


A Shrine Visit

By Takakuwa Keiko
  1. Temizu

  2. Approach

  3. Saisen and Bell

  4. Two Bows, Two Handclaps, and a Final Bow

  1. Temizu


     All shrines have temizuya. New water is running out and a basin is filled with it. A shrine visitor rinses
    his or her left hand, right hand and mouth.

     Japanese people cherish the purification. Particularly in front of the kami, we want to be much purer.
    Old shrines are always located near clear streams. Shrine visitors lustrated and purified themselves
    there. Japanese have always believed that water cleans out polluted and evil conditions. The temizuya
    is today's place of ablutions.

  2. Approach

     Then people head for the hall of worship. This road is called the sandō. People avoid walking in the
    center of the approach because it is believed to be the kami’s path.

  3. Saisen and Bell

     There is a bell and offering box for coins (saisenbako) in front of the haiden. People toss offerings of
    money into the box, and ring the bell and pray.

     Offering money originated as an expression of gratitude for the fulfillment of a prayer. Generally we
    think it is an expression of purity of heart when we make a wish and give thanks for something.

     The bell has been used since old days, as an instrument to call and invite the kami. The pure sound
    of the bell plays a role in attracting the kami and conveying a wish.

  4. Two Bows, Two Handclaps, and a Final Bow

     First, we bow deeply twice, and clap our hands twice, then finally make another deep bow in worship.

     Clapping is a universal expression of praise and pleasure. But it seems that only Japan included the
    handclap as a ceremony of worship.

 I hope this helps you to understand the meaning of the shrine visit. Please visit a shrine and pray to
the kami with us Japanese.

** My Shinto: Personal Thoughts on Shinto and Japanese Culture
** supervised by Norman Havens
** Updated: February 1, 2008