ben griffiths
an insight into the mind of a genius

Posts Tagged ‘shinto’

The first day of the start of something new

Monday, January 2nd, 2006

Well hello again people - and I do once again apologise for my poor English skills last night, that post is making me cringe, but, due to time constraints (I’m not lazy honest) - I have decided to leave it….

So today is the first day of 2006 and it’s time to have a look at everything and see where we need to go from here…

Firstly, I should say a massive thank you to Mum + Dad for continuing to look after me, even after I have flown far, far away. I’m sure customs are wondering quite why so many toiletries are sent over, but the truth is, THE ONEs HERE SUCK! :p
English hair-gel definately rocks over anything you can get here, despite the fact everyone here seems obsessed with their looks. And shaving gel, don’t get me started.

It seems funny, that now I am used to the place, there is less of a lonely feeling when I’ve nothing to do, it’s more of a “oh well, there is nothing to do”, rather than “I wish I was at home”.

If nothing else, my time her has certainly made me a lot more independant, though I’m not so sure I like this. It’s now at the point where I actually prefer to be on my own, becoming a bit like a hermit as it were - just me and my computer.

So on second thoughts, maybe this is a bad thing!!! :eek:
Of course this will proably all crumble when I get back and realise what I am missing out on, but - I must stay strong!!! :D
As far as new years resolutions go, the main one is to study a lot more, and try to be more confident in speaking out. I have made an oath that I will not come back to England until I can speak enough Japanese to make spending £2k on lessons worth it. Of course, this amount is subjective, but basically - I want to know enough so I can come back and converse with Japanese people at an intermediate level. The rest I can pick up as I go along.

The other side of my mind says things like - “I want to come back to see Gowry” - so maybe this could be my inspiration to study harder!

I’m also thinking it’s pretty cool, that Japan is likely to become my “holiday place” . You know how everyone has somewhere they always go, well, Japan can be mine :) Yearly visits, something to look forward to - so I won’t be leaving my friends forever, just for extended periods. Plane tickets can drop as low as £240 :eek: - so it won’t even be a massive strain on the old bank balance.

So there you go, enough of the deep stuff - on with today.

I might have explained before, but if not, i will now. New years is very important to the Japanese, as it’s a time to reflect on the year past and make plans for the new year.

It is therefore usual to go to a Shrine or Temple on the first (or at least round it) and to pray to the gods. So, this is what we did today (a little later than planned ;)) - first stop was a local Shrinto Temple.


Where we got in line, then went up to the main “praying place” to say our dues… it went something like this.

Bow Twice
Throw money in the well
Ring the bell
Clap twice
Pray for something
Bow again

I’m a bit sceiptical that the gods actually get the money, but it was only 5p, so not too much of a loss :D lol…

After this, it was time to go to the main temple in Tokyo, Meijing Temple (I think that’s its name) - which was slightly more impressive. You also couldn’t get to the front and pray individually like in the first place, so you just had to get as near as you could and would be able to throw the coin over everyone’s heads!!!


The coin throwing place, though hard to see is the area in the background where the people all stop, but some people were throwing the money from so far away!!


It was actually a really nice experience and I’m glad we did it. It made a change to the normal stuff that has been going on and quite a sight :)
Shimpei was then telling me about the Shinto religion, and it actually sounded quite good. I will have to check all this out, but basically, there are no rules, no books to follow and nothing to teach. The religion is basically the belief that there is a god in everything and that we should just try and get on with each other. Also, unlike Christianity and such like, heaven and hell don’t exist, so the belief is - if you are bad, at the end there is nothing anyway….

The thought of there maybe being a god in something, but not having any of the religious mumbo jumbo that goes with it was quite appealing. At the temple, it was nice to think someone was up there listening to what I have to say…. usually it’s just the voices in my head :D
Tonight is early to bed, both for the reasons that I am quite sleepy after all the walking around, but also, we are going to see the emporer say “Hi” to everyone from the balcony of his palace tomorrow at 11am. So we have to leave our house at 9am :eek: - bed in 20 mins or so after a call to Gowry and I “should” be ok for it :)
After, I think they were talking about Karaoke, which again, should be quite good fun…..