“Worship God, Respect Ancestors” Matsuzo Matsushita Advocated

麻賀田神社

“Worship God, Respect Ancestors” (敬神崇祖)occurred to me today, which Mr. Matsuzo Matsushita (松下松蔵)advocated. He was called “god-man” or “mystery person” in Showa era. I don’t know how he explained the phrase, but I interpret it as “Worship God with the utmost courtesy and step back because God is so awful. Be thankful to and intimate with your ancestors.” I think the phrase is really good.

  • occur to A Aの頭に思い浮かぶ
  • advocate 唱える
  • era 時代
  • explain 説明する
  • interpret 解釈する
  • utmost 最大限の
  • courtesy 礼儀正しさ
  • thankful 感謝に満ちて
  • intimate 親しい

Because emissaries of God, or Outer God, were active between the World of Gods and the World of Reality, it was important to keep them at a distance. If you had made light of them, they would have got angry. However, they’re now disappearing and a new age is beginning when the true holy spirit resides in human beings as Inner God. People in general don’t know in which shrine an outer god is, so every time you visit a shrine you had better be courteous and offer gratitude only. Visiting a shrine is greeting your Inner God. Shinto shrines all over Japan are for this purpose and are sacred places.

  • emissary 御使い
  • keep A at a distance Aと距離を置く
  • slight 軽んじる
  • reside 宿る
  • courteous 礼儀正しい
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • sacred 神聖な

It can be said that Inner God is a living thing in your heart. To suffer from things happening in this World of Reality and hurt your heart, or Inner God, would cause your physical body to get a disease. Your fortune would also decline. Because the state of your Inner God is sure to have influence on your physical body, it’s best for you to have gratitude consciously no mattar what happens to you. To raise and develop the living thing called heart by having gratitude will lead you to be well in body and mind fundamentally, which is quite different from the case where you feel better temporarily due to the spiritual dirt of a healer.

  • suffer 苦しむ
  • hurt 傷つける
  • cause A to~ Aが〜する原因となる
  • disease 病気
  • fortune 運気
  • decline 弱まる
  • state 状態
  • be sure to~ 必ず〜する
  • consciously 意識的に
  • raise 育てる
  • fundamentally 根本的に
  • temporarily 一時的に

“Worship Gods, Respect Ancestors” reminded me of Mr. Matsuzo Matsushita, so I will introduce one of his interesting anecdotes for you. It is said that he never ate eel. According to him, the reason was that eels worship the rising sun without fail. It might be possible that eels raise their head above the water and turn to the sun at dawn. Biologically speaking, there are a lot of mysteries about eels. I think creatures are rare which are able to live in both sea water and fresh water. Personally, eel has not been my favorite food somehow since a long time ago due to its strange taste. This may be because I have eaten only cheap eel. When it is served, I eat it with gratitude, though.

  • remind A of B AにBを思い出させる
  • anecdote 逸話
  • eel うなぎ
  • without fail 必ず
  • dawn 明け方
  • rare 珍しい
  • somehow どういうわけか

As in holy domestic fouls at Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮), I feel that creatures that respond to the rising sun are often emissaries of God. Getting up early may be more and more important for human beings. People working night shifts might as well go to bed after worshiping the rising sun. But you don’t have to push yourself. It’s much more important to remind yourself of gratitude in everyday life.

  • domestic foul 鶏
  • respond 反応する
  • might as well~ 〜した方がよいのかもしれない
  • everyday life 日常生活

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

Close Relationship Between Teeth and Longevity

麻賀田神社

I went to the dentist yesterday for dental tartar removal for the first time in one year. I visited there two times to complete the removal. As I am in my forties, the maintenance of teeth is important. I think if  you don’t feel any pain during the treatment, it might not be effective. I don’t know anything about dentistry, but I think dental scaling must be so painful that gums breed. I’m going to say the dentist next time “Please remove my tartar much harder without hesitation.” I feel, spiritually too, teeth are so important as to affect your life. It seems that they’re involved in human life and longevity more than you can imagine.

  • dental tartar 歯石
  • removal 除去
  • effective 効果的な
  • dentistry 歯学
  • gums 歯茎
  • breed 出血する
  • influence 影響
  • longevity 寿命

In the waiting room of the dental clinic, I was thinking about the reason why I had got the inspiration that teeth equal death. In the case of wild animals, problems with their teeth lead to their death from hunger. Human beings in ancient times also must have died from the lack of stamina as their teeth decreased in number. I think one of the reasons that the average life expectancy has increased in the modern society is due to the improvement of dental treatment techniques. I feel sorry for people in poor countries who cannot receive appropriate dental treatment. It makes me feel really sorry for them to think that they are suffering from toothache.

  • lead to A  Aをもたらす
  • hunger 飢え
  • lack 欠如
  • decrease  減る
  • life expectancy 平均寿命
  • due to A   Aが原因である
  • improvement 改善
  • feel sorry かわいそうに思う

In  Japan, the number of young people who won’t or cannot work has been increasing rapidly. Since they don’t lead a well-regulated life, they are likely to be negligent of bushing their teeth and as a result suffer from bad teeth or a periodontal disease. I think suppurative microorganisms around the root of a tooth dissolve bones and invade the whole body. They will affect brain cells and cause the thinking ability to drop. Also, they will affect the heart through blood and decrease strength. Looking spiritually at the teeth of many sages of the past, I can see their teeth were mostly very pretty when they were young. The teeth of Buddha look really beautiful in my spiritual vision, and so do the teeth of Ramana Maharshi.

  • well-regulated 規則正しい
  • negligent 怠った
  • periodontal disease 歯周病
  • suppurative 化膿性の
  • dissolve 溶かす
  • invade 侵攻する
  • cell 細胞
  • ability 能力
  • mostly  たいていは

It is said that a palm reading can tell the longevity, but it is the state of teeth and gums that can tell the longevity much more accurately. It is likely that there are some experienced dentists who can tell how long their patients will live and the name of a disease from which they die because they have seen a lot of patients enough to know the relationship between the state of their teeth and their longevity. It’s a hundred times as good for your physical and spiritual body to go to the dentist as you pay a lot of money to eccentric psychics or healers.

  • palm reading 手相
  • state 状態
  • accurately 正確に
  • experienced 経験豊富な
  • relationship 関係
  • eccentric 奇妙な

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

Eating is a Sacred Act of Energy of Food, Energy of Place and Your Spiritual Body Being Combined

麻賀田神社

Eating with someone else is important. The phrase would often be used in Japan of “fellows who eat from the same bowl.” Spiritually speaking, it forms a connection with each other to share food at the same time and in the same place.

  • would often ~ よく〜したものだった
  • fellow 仲間
  • connection つながり

Why is sharing the same food important? Physically, eating the same food has the same influence on each one who eats it, to be sure. But what I feel about the spiritual connection which arises in sharing food is not the effects of the food itself.

  • physically 身体的には
  • influence 影響
  • arise 生じる
  • effect 効果

For example, in a cafeteria of a company, its employees eat their lunch box, breadstuff bought at a convenience store or what they order from the cafeteria menu at the same period of time. At this time an aura of the same color and a sense of solidarity are arising there.

  • employee 従業員
  • aura オーラ
  • a sense of solidarity 一体感

When an outsider or a person who is spiritually sensitive gets into the cafeteria a little late, he may hesitate with a feeling that he doesn’t belong to the place. But as such a person eats there every day, he/she will assimilate the aura and come to feel nothing about it.

  • sensitive 敏感な
  • hesitate 躊躇う
  • belong to A Aに属する
  • assimilate 同化する
  • come to~  〜するようになる

That is, eating at the same time and in the same place rather than food itself generates something spiritually common. When I thought about this, an idea came into my mind that eating is an act of three elements, namely energy of food, energy of place and a spiritual body, being combined.

  • that is つまり
  • rather than A Aよりもむしろ
  • generate 発生させる
  • act 行為
  • combine 合わせる  

Rice was the staple food for Japanese. Rice is a mass of the holy energy of Ameterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神), the Sun Goddess. And the energy of a place is the energy of the ground, that is, the energy of Kunitokotachi-o-kami(国常立太神), the spirit of the earth. Therefore eating rice is the act of these two kinds of energy and the energy of your spiritual body being combined into one. To speak exaggeratedly, you’re merging into those gods every time you eat rice.

  • the staple food 主食
  • mass 塊
  • exaggeratedly 大げさに
  • merge 溶け込む

If you change the place you eat, the same food tastes different because the energy of place is different. A rice ball eaten in nature and one eaten in a room is different.  So, fellows who eat from the same bowl are the ones who share the unity of man and god at the same time in the same place. It may be very sacred to share the act of taking in food at the same time, like Last Supper of Jesus Christ.

  • taste 味がする
  • rice ball おにぎり
  • unity 合一
  • Last Supper 最後の晩餐

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

The Material of Crude Petroleum is Blood of Dinosaurs

麻賀田神社

According to news reports, the price of gasoline has risen to 160 yen per litter. As I don’t want to encounter traffic congestion on Golden Week, early-may holiday season in Japan, I convinced my family that we should go to some nearby place on holiday.

  • encounter 遭遇する
  • congestion 渋滞
  • convince 説得する

What is petroleum? I gave it a thought. There are many theories about the origin of petroleum, but I imagine that a huge amount of mineral in the depth of the earth and the microorganisms that arise when creatures, such as animals and dinosaurs, and plants decompose, react to each other and mature over millions of years to form crude petroleum, and that microorganisms and germs dissolve stone, or carbon component, in ever-lasting time.

  • petroleum 石油
  • theory 説
  • mineral 鉱物
  • microorganism 微生物
  • decompose 分解する
  • mature 熟成する
  • crude petroleum 原油
  • dissolve 溶かす

The idea is fun that crude petroleum is made from blood of dinosaurs. Spiritual bodies of dinosaurs might be moving cars and planes in the modern age. Filmed from the air, traffic congestion during Golden Week looks as if a huge dragon with a long body were lying. Monster birds that existed on earth in ancient times are actually flying in the sky in form of superalloy airplanes. It’s like they’re reproducing their brave figure of the past in modern times.

  • monster bird 怪鳥
  • superalloy 合金の
  • reproduce 再現する
  • assert oneself 自己主張する

I feel that creatures that lived in the past are asserting themselves in another form to tell they did exist in the world. Our human bodies will have changed in the distant future, but our mind will never have. Probably we will be trying to tell others that we did live in this world somehow. This is also true of ancestral spirits. When they feel they’re forgotten, they try to assert themselves. So all their descendants have to do is take notice of their existence before they assert themselves. Then everything would be fine.

  • the distant future 遠い未来
  • true of A Aに当てはまる
  • descendant 子孫
  • take notice 気づく

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

Bamboos and Willows are Plants Spirits can Easily Come Close to

麻賀田神社

A reader of this blog pointed out that he was able to use a menu stand used in a restaurant to erect a tanzaku(短冊), a strip of Japanese paper. I thought it’s an unexpected idea. I think any stand will do that is made from natural material like wood and can fix a tanzaku. But when you use a menu stand, the stability of the tanzaku and its angle have to be taken care of.

  • point out A Aを指摘する
  • erect 直立させる
  • unexpected 予想外の
  • material 素材
  • stability 安定感

My tanzaku stand is made from bamboo. Two half-cut bamboo tubes with slit are arranged so as to fix the tanzaku from both sides. It’s a simple stand . I bought it at a department store, I think. Wooden fibers are good for spirits to come close to and stay there. If there were a tanzaku made from hemp fibers, it would be the best.

  • bamboo 竹
  • slit 切れ目
  • fiber 繊維
  • hemp 麻

Other plants which are easy for spirits to come close to are bamboo and willow trees. For example, fortunetellers of divination use thin bamboo sticks to tell somebody’s fortune. This is because the bamboo sticks act as an antenna making it easy for the fortunetellers to sympathize with their guardian spirit. Also, in Japanese ghost stories, a ghost often appears under the willow tree. I feel willow trees also easily sympathize with something spiritual.

  • willow 柳
  • fortuneteller 占い師
  • divination 易
  • fortune 運勢
  • guardian spirit 守護霊
  • sympathize 感応する

Speaking of willow trees, I remember a TV program I saw a long time ago featuring eccentric persons of the world. There was a shaman in a certain village of Southeast Asia. He can cure diseases when the spirit of Cho Hakkai(猪八戒) possesses him. Normally he is a quiet person. But once he is lost in meditation in front of an altar, he begins to dance suddenly. Then he grabs willow twigs and check his patient’s body from head to toe using the twigs like a telescope. There is no hole in the twigs, of course. And the moment he finds a diseased part, he starts, shivers, turns around and shouts with joy (lol). The diseased part is a little bit heaped under the skin and when he pushes it, needles and nails come out of it. He does this weird thing, shouting in a shrill voice. He looks funny and lovable in a way. I remember the scene sometimes, and every time I mimic him before my families, they laugh.

  • feature 特集する
  • eccentric person 奇人
  • Southeast Asia 東南アジア
  • disease 病気
  • meditation 瞑想
  • altar 祭壇
  • twig 枝
  • telescope 望遠鏡
  • the moment S+V SがVするやいなや
  • start ビクッとする
  • shiver 震える
  • heaped 盛り上がって
  • needle 針
  • nail 釘
  • shrill voice 甲高い声
  • mimic まねをする

When a patient’s disease is cured, he/she gives some food for the shaman in return. The true identity who brought about this surprising phenomenon of materialization was a spiritual being of the World of the Dead whose figure was like a big wild boar. It seems that the spirit came from a deep forest and possessed him and that the spirit used to be a natural spirit and just wanted offerings. This spirit didn’t seem to be a vicious one who eats human souls. But the problem is most of the patients were repeaters. The spiritual being of the World of the Dead made them come back to the shaman over and over for the purpose of getting offerings. This is one of the bad characteristics of spiritual beings who bring about bizarre spiritual phenomena.

  • in return お返しに
  • true identity 正体
  • bring about A Aを引き起こす
  • phenomenon 現象
  • materialization 物質化
  • figure 形状
  • wild boar 猪
  • offering 供物
  • vicious 悪意のある
  • characteristic 特徴

Well, I don’t remember the last time I went to a hospital to see a doctor. I think it was a long time ago, when I caught a cold. Normally people don’t want to go to the hospital. They don’t become repeaters except in the case of particular diseases. Yet in the case of spiritual healing, people are sure to become repeaters. They don’t feel there is something wrong with being a repeater and are willing to come to the healer over and over again. To the eye of others, such people look poorer and poorer, whereas they have the illusion that they are full of energy. Don’t you think it strange that healers who pretend that they can cure all diseases have a lot of repeaters as customers ? The truth is healers make them repeaters by attaching unnecessary spiritual dirt to them.

  • particular 特定の
  • yet にもかかわらず
  • be sure to~ 必ず〜する
  • be willing to~ 進んで〜する
  • illusion  幻想
  • pretend 偽って主張する
  • attach 付ける

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

What Shimekazari of Ise Means

麻賀田神社

I searched information about the custom of Shimekazari(注連飾り)peculiar to Ise(伊勢) region. According to Ise Tourist Association,

Walking along the streets of Ise, you will often find Shimekazari hanging over the main entrance of a house.  A wooden tag with “蘇民将来子孫家門” or “笑門” or “千客萬来” written in Japanese ink on it is attached to Shimekazari. Hornbeam and Gleichenia japonica are decorated on both sides of it. Normally, Shimekazari, put up on New Year’s day, is detached in a few days, but in Ise(伊勢) and Shima(志摩) regions, they have the custom of keeping Shimekazari decorated over the entrance gate all through the year. This is due to the legend that a long, long time ago Susanoo(スサノオ) visited this area and a poor but merciful man named Sominshourai(蘇民将来)offered him a room. When leaving, Susanoo told him that if he kept a wooden talisman over the entrance gate, he could protect your descendants from epidemics forever. To hear that, people there began to put the talisman as the evidence of their being his descendants, hoping for sound health. So Shimekazari is a talisman for the safety and well-being of the family. Also, it is said that “蘇民将来” was shortened to “将門” later and then to “笑門” because of “将門 ” was the name of Taira No Masakado(平将門), who is legendarily supposed to bring bad luck.

蘇民将来

  • search 調べる
  • custom 慣習
  • peculiar 特有の
  • region 地方
  • attach  付ける
  • detach 取り外す
  • due to A Aが原因である
  • legend 伝説
  • talisman 魔除け
  • descendant 子孫
  • epidemic 疫病
  • evidence 証拠

When I read this, a vision came into my mind. When I searched information about the image, I found that it was linked to Passover, a festival of Judaism. Passover is an important festival of Judaism. The tradition traces back to a night about 3500 years ago, when Hebrews, who were prisoners of, and were badly treated by, Egyptians, tried to escape from Egypt the next day, led by the Prophet Moses. Yahweh, the highest God of Hebrews, whose true identity is Kunitokotachi-o-kami(国常立太神), told Moses that all boys in Egypt who were to be the successor of his family and all first baby animals shall die suddenly from the plague as punishment for killing his beloved people.

  • Passover 過越の祭
  • Judaism ユダヤ教
  • trace back  遡る
  • Hebrew ヘブライ人
  • prophet 預言者
  • true identity 正体
  • successor 後継者
  • plague 疫病
  • punishment 罰

But the angry god told Moses how to avoid the fatal plague, too. Following his prediction, Hebrews spread blood of lambs all over two pillars in front of their entrance gate and the lintel of their house and painted a sign of blood on the gate with a leaf of hemp. Around the midnight of the day they were to escape from Egypt, all eldest sons in Egypt whose house had no sign of blood died suddenly, including the successor to the throne of the Egyptian dynasty.This is how only Hebrews whose house had the sign of blood were able to pass over the calamity. Passover was named after the legend.

  • fatal 致死の
  • lamb 子羊
  • lintel 鴨居
  • hemp 麻
  • eldest son 長男
  • dynasty 王朝
  • calamity 災難

I wrote in an article of this blog how Moses landed up in Japan and buried Tablets of Stone under the ground of Taganomiya(多賀宮)in Geku(外宮)of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮). He seems to have been welcomed by the people in Ise as Susanoo(スサノオ). I feel that hefty Hebrews coming together with Moses, who pushed a big cart with Moses and Tablets of Stone on it, were described as Sarutahikono-kami(猿田彦神)with a big nose and strong body. It was right spiritually for the people to see Moses as Susanoo because Moses had part of the spirit of Susanoo inside. Geku of Ise Grand Shrine is a sacred place for the holy spirit linked with Amenominakanushi-no-kami(天之中主神)= O-Kunitokotachi-o-kami(大国常立太神)and Kunitokotachi-o-kami=Yahweh or Susanoo.

  • article 記事
  • Tablets of Stone 十戒石
  • hefty 屈強な
  • describe 描写する
  • sacred 神聖な

Yahweh, the revengeful, stern god who came down to the Middle East in ancient times, is Kunitokototachi-o-kami. The angry and lamenting spiritual being who gave a catastrophic revelation about the end of the world in the past 100 years in Japan was also Kunitokotachi-o-kami. The way this god manifests itself is harsh. To appease this holy spirit, it is necessary that we sublimate him by having 5 percent of all human beings remind themselves of gratitude and that we send him back to his parental god. I’m looking forward to the day a lot of Jewish people and religious men visit Geku of Ise Grand Shrine from all over the world.

  • stern 厳格な
  • the Middle East 中東
  • catastrophic 破滅的な
  • revelation 神示
  • harsh 過酷な
  • appease なだめる
  • sublimmate 昇華する
  • remind A of B  AにBを思い出させる
  • Jewish ユダヤの
  • religious 宗教の

An orange attached to the present Shimekazari stands for the blood of lambs. I feel that Shimekazari in ancient times used to have two woven ropes like two DNA chains hanging together with hemp fibers dyed red. There is a deep meaning in old customs, isn’t there?

  • stand for A Aを意味する
  • fiber 繊維

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.

Lost Spirits Gather around Things with a Human Form

麻賀田神社

Spirits who have obsession with this World of Reality and as the result are unable to go to the other world will wander in this world with their consciousness of the moment they died being fixed. Spirits unaware of their death seem to repeat the work or task they often did before they died. All they did before they died was recorded on something like an electromagnetic tape and it is played over and over like an endless loop.

  • obsession  執着心
  • wander 彷徨う
  • consciousness 意識
  • fix 固定する
  • unaware 気がついていない
  • record 記録する

Also, spirits who died in pain and linger in this world will keep suffering from the pain. In this case, the object such spirits in agony try to depend on is a living human being who is not well protected by his/her ancestral spirits. But if they fail to possess a human, it is likely that they possess a doll with a human form because the more spirits suffer the pain, the more difficult it is for them to move. Or if they happen to see a statute of Buddha, they are likely to gather around it, thinking that they can be saved by staying near the statue.

  • pain 痛み
  • linger いつまでも残っている
  • suffer 苦しむ
  • object 対象
  • fail to~  〜することができない
  • statue 像
  • save 救う

Sometimes there is a rich family who has a big statue of Kannon(観音) in the garden. I don’t know the reason why they own it but it is likely that they will have their business go bankrupt or their family line will be extinguished in another generation or two. This is because lost spirits asking for help gather around the house. If such a family has not true faith in Kannon but just dependency on it and doesn’t take care of it, no good things will happen to them.

  • go bankrupt 破産する
  • extinguish 断つ
  • generation 世代
  • true faith 真の信仰
  • dependency 依存心

Lost spirits are a mass of coarse spiritual magnetism. Because of its coarse magnetic vibration, you could hear cacophony like electric noise burst. It is easy for such spirits to possess things with a human form such as a doll or a statute of Buddha, whereas it is physically difficult for them to possess something like an amulet made from paper like Ofuda(お札, a type of amulet sold at Shinto shrines) because of their coarse magnetic vibration. It is only spiritual beings with more subtle magnetic vibration who can come close to something sacred.

  • mass 塊
  • coarse  粗い
  • cacophony 不快な音
  • noise burst ザーッという音
  • form  形
  • whereas 一方
  • subtle 精妙な
  • sacred 神聖な

By the way, every time I visit Ise Grand Shrine, I buy Kenbarai-fuda(剣祓札), which is the most inexpensive of all kinds of shinto-amulets. Whenever I see the Ofuda, I feel admiration for the fact that a Yorishiro(寄り代), a kind of medium for spirits to stay at temporarily,  is coiled around the end of the thin wooden stick of the Ofuda in the traditional way. A spiritually very practical contrivance has been succeeded since ancient times. This kind of Ofuda may be available only at Ise Grand Shrine. Yes. This shrine is outstanding.

  • every time S+V SがVするたびに
  • admiration 感心
  • coil  巻く
  • contrivance 仕掛け
  • succeed 継承する
  • available 入手可能な
  • outstanding 別格な

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.