Monday, October 5, 2015

How to Pray in Shinto Shrines

Before Sunset at Miyajima Island 
If the Catholics have a pattern for praying the rosary, Shinto also has a pattern in praying.
Praying in Shinto shrines is so much simpler and so much shorter.

Here's how: 

1. Throw a coin in the box in the offeroty box.
    You can throw any amount.
2. Ring the long rope hanging in front of the box.
    This is a means to call the gods of the shrine.
 3. Deeply bow 2 times.
4. Clap your hands 2 times.
5. PRAY or make a wish.
6. Deeply bow once then leave.

That's it. It doesn't take more than 10 minutes. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Famous Word in Japan

Farm Tomita, Hokkaido
There's an English word that's very famous in Japan. This is the word  "FAMOUS."

"Famous" is "the word" when the Japanese want to describe anything related to Japan- food, place, person, movie, shows, thing, festival. It's like everything in Japan is famous.

I must admit that there are indeed many famous Japanese things, places,  food, shows and festival. Even people who haven't been to Japan can probably name things related to Japan such as sushi, cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, anime, manga, kimono, World War II, etc. etc. But there are also a lot of things that Japanese people claim to be "famous" when in fact, other Japanese don't even know about them.

But, how do I know that Famous is NOT Famous at all?

I've been handling group business classes. All students are Japanese. Several times, I ask them to talk about Japanese culture including food, places and whatever they want to talk about. Half of the things students mention are described as "famous" but half of the students don't know about it. So, how can something be famous when it's not even known to a group with less than 10 people living in the same place?

Friday, September 25, 2015

How the Japanese Contain their Emotions?

Small floral diorama of the Clock Tower in Sapporo, Hokkaido
Yesterday was my school's Sports Day or Undokai in Japanaese. It's my fourth time to attend but I'm still amazed by how the Japanese control their chaos. 

What do I mean with controlled chaos? 

It's like this. During the games and the cheering competition, the students are full of enthusiasm and noise. They'd be cheering ever so loudly and running around in circles. Then as soon as the games finished, everyone will be quiet, behave and disciplined. There was no cooling down of emotions nor fading out of voices. It's just like a rock music that ended abruptly. 

Even in the classroom, the students would be all attentive when I'm presenting the lesson. I learned not to expect any reactions, just attentiveness. Then, when I say it's "Game Time!", the room would suddenly erupt with cheers. The students would do the games or activities with surprising energy. As soon as I say, time's up, everybody would just quietly go to their seats with very few and very rare hushes. The shift of emotions is so distinct, it's worth thinking about why.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...