FAQ 17-18

Question 17

I plan to visit Hushimi-Inari shrine(伏見稲荷)with my little child in the near future. I’m going there just to offer my gratitude, but if I apply for Omiyamairi(お宮参り), they will perform rituals to pray for blessing. They’ll also present us with an Ofuda(御札)or an amulet. Will this mean I pray for something? And it’s not good thing to do? Also, what should I do with the amulet or other things I’ll be given ? I don’t have a household shinto altar in my house, but there is one at my husband’s parents’ home.

  • plan to~ 〜するつもりでいる
  • offer 捧げる
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • apply for A Aを申し込む
  • ritual 儀式
  • pray 祈る
  • blessing 祝い
  • amulet お守り
  • household shinto alter 神棚

Answer

You should visit the shrine as an event to commemorate your child’s growth. In this case, think of the ritual as the one for you to offer your gratitude to God for the safety of your family and your child’s growth. It’s a pray, to be sure, but as long as you’re conscious of offering gratitude, it’s no problem. Don’t leave the Shinsatsu(神札)you’re given undone, which is blasphemy. At least, just stand it against the wall and put a small container with water in it before the Shinsatsu. If you can put Sakaki plant, species of evergreen sacred to Shinto, beside the Shinsatsu, it’s the best. You can return the Shinsatsu to any shrine in a year.

  • commemorate 祝う
  • growth 成長
  • think of A as B AをBと考える
  • to be sure 確かに
  • as long as S+V SがVする限り
  • conscious 意識して
  • leave A undone Aを放ったらかしにする
  • blasphemy 不敬な
  • container 容器
  • return 返す

Question 18

When I visited Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮)with my family about twelve years ago, I picked up a few small white pebbles in the precincts and took them home because I thought I wanted to always feel the shrine. They have been put at the household shrine altar in my house. I’ve come to feel this is no good thing to do since last year. Could you give me some advice?

  • pebble 小石
  • precincts 境内
  • come t0~ 〜するようになる

Answer

You have to return the pebbles to the shrine. What you did is very bad. If you find it difficult to visit Ise Grand Shrine because of its distance, you can put them back at the precincts of a shrine near your house or in a river or sea. If you possess something that belong to a shrine, it’s going to be a big handicap for you. The mind of wanting something that belongs to a shrine which appears to be good leads to the selfish mind that you’re going to steal any good thing even from God. A mind like this is far from that of God. But if you’ve taken any small pebbles home without noticing by attaching them to the sole of your shoes for example, there’s no problem.

  • distance 距離
  • possess 所有する
  • belong to A Aの所有物である
  • selfish 利己的な
  • steal 盗む
  • far from A Aから程遠い
  • without noticing 気が付かずに
  • attach くっつける
  • sole 底
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