Thursday, February 6, 2014

Izumo Taisha Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
Continuing my previous post about sunflowers, our tour brought us to this shinto shrine called "Izumo Taisha". This one is a subsidiary branch in Ibaraki prefecture and the main branch is at Shimane Prefecture. Hence, they call it Izumo Taisha Hitachi branch...(出雲大社常陸教会)...urgh…long name.

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
This shrine is said to be very effective for marriages and so explains the huge knot decorating the front of the shrine.

The tour guide was explaining about this shrine, the legend, and how to pray at the water fountain. You are supposed to cleanse yourself before praying. As you can see, most of our tour mates were females and they were eagerly listening to our tour guide. At that point, we realised that this shrine visit was actually the highlight of the tour, not the sunflowers!

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
I waited for all the girls and obaasan (aunties) to leave before going up to take photos and a quick rinse.

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
The huge knot… I wonder how they keep all the bugs away…hmmm… power of the sun?

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
This is the god of marriage. You are suppose to throw your coins in before making a wish.

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
They sometimes hold wedding ceremonies here too.

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
Obaasans were also praying on behalf of their daughters or sons.

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
Not to forget the highlight, buying charms! FYI, the charms are only valid till end of the year. I didn't know about this until I went to Japan to study. You are supposed to either mail your old charm back to the temple or bring it there towards the end of the year to recycle and buy a new charm. It is a very commercialised practice to make sure they have enough funds to maintain the temple. Talk about creating a sustainable business model and viral marketing!

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage ema
These are wooden plaques called "ema". You buy them from the booth, write your wishes on it, then hang at the temple so the god will be able to review them. And yes, they can understand any languages!

japanese recruitment notice for cleaners
I also saw a recruitment notice for maintenance staff, a nicer word for cleaner. You get 900 yen/hour and only work for 5 hours a day. I was suddenly imagining myself sweeping leaves, enjoying the tranquility and then going back to my quiet small studio in the late afternoon to continue drawing till night fall. But alas, rural area is certainly a boring place to be in and I snapped out of the idea.

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
My friend was all excited and snapping photos everywhere and attempted to snap me with this temple. Sorry, got bored.

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage
The view though, was fantastic...

Izumo Taisha Hitachi Shinto Shrine dedicated to deity of marriage toilet
…but the queue at the toilet was not fantastic.
(especially when obaasans are not as nimble as young people so we had to wait for a lonnnggg time)

13 comments:

  1. I bet the big knot was first tar or something alike to protect it and maintain it.

    On the other hand I have always find is eerie how people, specially girls around the rowl, tend to be believers when it comes in the power of charms and prayers...specially to gods that needs your coin in order to make your wished become true...talk about greed sheesh

    Love your picture thoguht, yes you seem bored then again there is something in the posture that also says "its kindda cool to be standing here". The view of the landscape really gives a good idea of how feudal Jpaan might have looked like :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that's why I don't really pray to Japanese temples and shrines. I believe you donate whatever you can and if you can't, it's still ok as long as you have the heart :)

      I really like scenic mountain view, something that Singapore doesn't have. We only have tall buildings everywhere…

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    2. Well Singapore is rather small, so every bitsy little space must be used...kind of remind me of Hong Kong... no leisure of space there. So yeah it is cool you could enjoy the mountain view

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    3. We're a bit better than HK, that's for sure! I didn't like my latest visit there last year :(
      People looked stressed and unfriendly too.

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    4. I for one enjoyed HK quite a lot. I prefer it over the rest of China, amusingly enough I thought the central chinese were a tad more rude, specially with their spitting everywhere at any given time :P

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    5. I think it's because there's too many people so you have to be loud and rude to get heard. However many brought that bad habit overseas as well so we have some conflicts in Singapore too.

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  2. He-he, nice report.

    Eva-san, could You tell me: why there is a single line to toilet? There are separate men and women facilities, but there is only one line, where I could see both men and women ... or ... is it just my imagination?

    Heh, I do not know why creepo-san thinks that You are looking bored on a picture. I suppose that You are looking little tired and hungry :lol: And, I think that I am right, because that report contains nothing about pink ice cones, candies and other sweets. Prolly You fasted all day long.

    ewww ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it's a continuation of previous post of my day trip (from the grapes to sunflowers,etc.) so actually there was food XD

      Most of the people who signed up were girls and you know, girls take a longer time in the toilet. Men just go in unzip and out… we girls have to go in, close the door and tear toilet papers...

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    2. He-he, Eva-san, please look at picture one more time :

      1) the line is going to 'men' section - there is blue sign with 'male' silhouette

      2) there are both male and female species in the line - look first in a line is a woman, second is a man, third is a woman, fourth is a man.

      And now a question:
      Why there is single line? Isn't it more logical to make two lines: one for males and one for females ?

      BTW, that leaving toilette guy with camcoder looks very unsatisfied, like he were sharing toilette with girls, or ... may be was it too expensive?

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    3. 1) Left is to enter, right is to exit
      2) Haha, actually they are all obasans.

      The one leaving with the "camcorder" (but it is actually a black handbag) is also an Obasan...

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    4. Ouch ... looks like life put some milestones on those.

      ewww ...

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    5. Haha you mean they look too haggard???

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    6. exactamente, hermoza!

      ewww...

      Delete

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