Visiting a Japanese Shinto Shrine – Everything You Need to Know, Step by Step! (Video)
There are no strict rules for praying at a Shinto shrine, but there are general worship practices and etiquettes that work for all shrines. For this article, we visited the beautiful Nezu Shrine in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward.
Omairi: Worshipping at Shrines
A torii gate marks the beginning of the realm of Shinto kami and separates it from the secular world; entering through this gate, you are stepping onto sacred grounds. Prepare your mind and heart, calm yourself, and appreciate everything around you.
Passing the Torii: Bow Once and Taking the First Step with Your Left Foot
A torii actively separates the regular world from the realm of the kami, or the enshrined deity, marking that you are about to enter a sacred area. The center of the approach is said to be the place where “the kami pass.”
Cleanse Yourself before Prayer at the Temizuya
Every shrine has a water basin, known as a ‘temizuya’ (or chozuya), where worshipers are supposed to purify themselves, both literally and figuratively. Numerous ladles, known as hishaku, are arranged along the stone basin, ready to be used.
Praying at a Shinto Shrine: Bow Twice, Clap Twice, Bow Once
It entails placing your money in the offering box and bowing deeply, clapping your hands twice, and praying quietly if desired.
A Prayer? A Wish? An Oath?
A shrine is said to be a place where happiness and good fortune are bestowed upon the earthly realm, and it is also believed that worshiping at a shrine purifies you of any past impurities, as well as filling you with new resolve and strengthening your resolve for the future.
Omikuji: Otherworldly Charms
Curse papers are small strips of paper drawn from a wooden box for a small offering to the shrine, on which blessings for things like health, business, marriage, and so on are written; however, if you don’t have the right papers, you may be cursed.
Who worship in the shrine?
A shrine is a place in Hinduism where gods or goddesses are worshipped. Shrines are typically found inside Hindu temples of various types, but most Hindu families also have a household shrine.
Which religion pray before a shrine at home?
Shinto worship is highly ritualized and adheres to strict protocol, order, and control, and can be performed at home or in shrines.
What religion worships at shrines?
Shinto shrines are both places of worship and homes for kami; most shrines hold matsuri (festivals) on a regular basis to show the kami the outside world, and Shinto priests perform Shinto rituals and frequently live on the shrine grounds.
What is the difference between shrine and church?
Shrines are built to draw pilgrims for a specific devotion, and the location may be chosen because a canonized saint is buried there or something significant in religious history occurred there.
What is the difference between shrine and temple?
A shrine is a place dedicated to a society’s important or holy person, usually a saint; on the other hand, a temple is a place dedicated to a religion, and it is where people go to perform their religion’s rituals.
Why do Japanese clap twice when praying?
Clapping, like ringing bells, can also help to ward off evil spirits. When your palms come together, your right hand should be slightly below your left, as the left hand is said to represent the kami-sama, while the right hand represents the one praying, i.e. you.
Do people pray at shrines?
By the way, the most significant distinction between a shrine and a temple is the manner in which you pray: at a shrine, you clap your hands, whereas at a temple, you simply bring your hands together and chant your prayer.
How do you bless food in Japanese?
Gochisousama – literally, “Be it morning or night, I give thanks to god for providing my meals.” This entire phrase was recited by Motoori Norinaga, an 18th century classics researcher, and it is still chanted in shrines before and after meals today.
What is forbidden in Shinto?
The following three alleged doctrines were expressly forbidden: (1) that the Emperor is superior to other rulers because he is a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu; (2) that the Japanese people are inherently superior to other peoples due to their unique ancestry or heritage; and (3) that the Japanese islands are spiritually superior to other peoples.
Do Catholics pray at home?
Private prayer refers to praying alone, which is very important to Christians because it allows them to connect with God on a personal level. Prayer, meditation, Bible study, and hymn singing can all be done at home.
Do Christians have altars in their homes?
Individual family members or the entire family may gather to pray at the home altar in many Christian households; it is common for Western Christians to have a prie-dieu in front of their home altar, which allows believers to place their Bible and breviary while kneeling in prayer before God.
What religion is most Japanese?
Although Shinto is the most popular religion in Japan, with nearly 80% of the population practicing it, only a small percentage of those who identify as “Shintoists” in surveys.
How does Shinto view death?
Shinto believes that ancestral spirits will protect their descendants, and that the prayers and rituals performed by the living honor and memorialize the dead, and that the spirits of the dead will protect and encourage the living in return.
Who is the most important kami?
Kami of note
- Amaterasu mikami, the sun goddess.
- Ebisu, one of seven gods of fortune.
- Fjin, the god of wind.
- Hachiman, the god of war.
- Inari kami, the god of rice and agriculture.
- Izanagi-no-Mikoto, the first man.
- Izanami-no-Mikoto, the first woman.