FAQ 23-24

Question 23

Is there anything you always do at home on New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day ? If you have something to do you can’t miss, I’d like you to tell me. I’m busy every year preparing many things during the last days of the year. I wonder if there is some ritual for New Year’s Day I perform in the wrong way or something I shouldn’t do. If there is something I should do on New Year’s Day, I want to do it. Could you tell me?

  • miss 欠かす
  • wonder if S+V  SはVするのかしらと思う
  • ritual 儀式


I make it a rule to clean up my household shinto altar at the end of the year. I move away all the objects put around the altar and wipe thoroughly from the altar to all the other small objects with a new, clean cloth. I have a Tokonoma(床の間), an alcove made with a wooden floor, for the shinto altar, so after I move the Hassokudai(八足台)before the altar, a table with eight legs for an altar, I wipe and purify the wooden floor carefully with the cloth wrung out of salt water. And also I love to visit a shrine whose main building has been cleaned thoroughly at the end of the year and precincts are quiet. There is special stillness at such a shrine just before the start of the new year.

  • make it a rule to~ 〜することにしている
  • household shinto altar 神棚
  • object 物
  • purify 浄化する
  • wring 絞る
  • precinct 境内
  • stillness 静けさ

Question 24

Should I be devoted to my husband’s parents, too? Should a wife obey a mother-in-law with all the problems between them ? To change a name to a husband’s surname or to get married means that a wife has to be devoted to the husband’s parents ? I live together with my husband’s mother. What is a secret to solve problems between a wife and her mother-in-law and get along with each other?

  • devoted 献身的な
  • obey 従う
  • mother-in-law 義理の母
  • with all A Aがあるにもかかわらず
  • surname 姓名
  • get married 結婚する
  • solve 解決する
  • get along with A Aと仲良くやっていく


Spiritually speaking, women are more strongly connected to her “obnoxious” husband’s mother than their true mother. For example, if a woman gets married at the age of 25 and lives to be 80 without getting a divorce, there is historical time difference between 25 years before her marriage and 55 years after marriage. In this case, which family line do you think she is strongly connected to? It can be said that she has more karma with her husband’s family because of a longer period of time. Everything in this world goes on in such a way that your soul improves. The more you hate your mother-in-law, the more things will happen which make you contact her. If you try to meet her halfway, conversely, you can keep a comfortable distance from her. You can be in the position of a mother-in-law in the future. I hope you’ll do your best.

  • be connected to A Aと繋がっている
  • obnoxious 嫌な
  • divorce 離婚
  • family line 家系
  • improve 改善する
  • contact 接触する
  • meet A halfway Aに歩み寄る
  • conversely 逆に
  • comfortable 心地の良い
  • distance 距離
  • position 立場