Shinto Shrine / 神社

Sacred area, Iwasaka / 磐境 , Kannabi / 神奈備 and Himorogi / 神籬

In ancient times, a Jinja did not necessarily mean a building. Religious rituals were first held in places considered sacred, such as rocky places called Iwasaka / 磐境 and forests or mountains called Kan-nabi / 神奈備.
In addition to those places, temporary and simple facilities called Himorogi / 神籬 were prepared for holding rituals, and trees or branches were usually erected for Kami, Japanese God, to descend on them. It was thought that Kami came to the Himorogi or Iwasaka when rituals were performed and went back when these were finished.
People also respected the forest itself as a shrine or an object of worship. But as time went on, people started hoping for Kami to remain forever and began to build wooden buildings where Kami remains.

( quoted some from " SHINTO from an INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE / Satoshi YAMAGUCHI " )


Torii / 鳥居

When you approach a Shinto Shrine, you will first see a gate called Torii. It marks the boundary between the sacred area of the shrine and the secular, the outside world.

Ssangyong Torii / 双龍鳥居

Temizu-sya / 手水舎

After passing through the gate way, an approach covered with pebbles stretch toward the sanctuary.
In somewhere along the approach, there is a structure, ablution pavilion, for hand-washing.

Purification is very important in Shinto, this is the easiest way to purify the body and mind. This is said to be " Misogi / 禊 " simplified.
Before worship, you should purify your body and soul.

Purification Procedure

① Take the ladle with your right hand, fill it with water, and wash your left hand.
② Pass the ladle to your left hand, wash your right hand.
③ Pass the ladle again to your right hand, pour water into your cupped left hand, and rinse your mouth with the water.
(Never touch the ladle with your mouth)
④ Wash your left hand again.
⑤ Let the rest of water flow down the handle of the ladle, place it back face down.
- Purification Procedure -

Worship Procedure

① Bow deeply twice.
② Clap your hands twice at the level of your chest, put your hands together and pray calmly.
③ Bow deeply once again.
This is a general way of worship.
One more, before you leaving here, making a slight bow becomes even more gracious manners.
- Worship Procedure -

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