Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Would you like to experience Hatsumoude at Chikurinji?

The stone steps of Chikurinji
   Paying a visit to a shrine or temple after the new year is called Hatsumoude. The reason for a Hatsumoude is to express gratitude for the previous year, and to pray that the upcoming year will be a good one. So what exactly happens at a Hatsumoude?

   In order to learn more about Hatsumoude, we visited Chikurinji on Godaisan in Kochi. Chikurinji is a temple with a long history. It opened in 724AD and traces its origins to China’s Godaisan. For this article, we interviewed Ryuga Uchida.
Mr. Uchida striking the bell
How to worship properly
① Go to the Chouzuya…Holding the ladle with your right hand, wash your left hand→switch the ladle to your left hand, and wash your right hand→switch back to your right hand, scoop water with the ladle, pour some water into your left hand and rinse your mouth (don’t drink the water)→wash your left hand→wash the handle of the ladle.
*(Note) Chouzuya…The place to purify your hands. The running water there is called Chouzu.
② Put in a monetary offering…Give as much as you’d like. KIA staff members usually put in a 5 yen coin, which is pronounced “go-yen” in Japanese, in order to pray for good “go-en (relationships).”
③ Make a wish…Be specific with your wish. By stating your wish in detail, it becomes easier to come true. It also serves the purpose of expressing your determination to yourself.
④ Pray…Put your hands together and bow once.
*(Note) How to put your hands together…When you put your hands together, Place your right hand slightly above your left. The right hand represents Buddha, and the left hand represents yourself.
Ofukuwake…Toshiotoko and Toshionna (men and women with the same zodiac sign as that year) throw 5 yen coins and wallets from a scaffold, sharing their fortune. At Chikurinji, since there are so many visitors, they hold Ofukuwake three times a day.

   At a Hatsumoude, tens of thousands of people visit in one day! Mr. Uchida’s recommendation was to visit during the Ofukuwake. But more than anything, he would love for people to experience Chikurinji’s Hatsumoude. Where else to go to Hatsumoude other than Chikurinji!?

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