Diary on a Trip to Ise and Mt. Hakusan – PART 10

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I got back home from Ise, thinking that I could be relaxed staying at home on holidays. Though I had spent three days in Ise on business,  I wasn’t tired at all. On the contrary, I was full of energy. During the business trip, I visited about 50 shrines, including small ones, with gratitude. At the shrines on the last day, just putting my hands together made me full of feelings of gratefulness. I came to be able to visit them with gratitude unconsciously.

  • get back home  家に帰る
  • on the contrary それどころか
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • put A together Aを合わせる

On the next day, taking a rest after putting Kenbarai-fuda(剣祓札, a kind of talisman of shitoizm) of Geku(外宮), Naiku(内宮) and Izougu(伊雑宮) in my household shinto altar, I was asked by family members to take them for a drive to Mt. Hakusan(白山). At first, I was reluctant, for I had just driven as many as 1000 kilometers. But my families insisted on it, so I decided to go there the next day, thinking that I couldn’t complete this trip to Ise without going to Mt.Hakusan for sure.

  • take a rest 一息つく
  • household shinto altar 神棚
  • at first 最初は
  • reluctant   いやいやな
  • insist 主張する
  • complete 完成させる
  • for sure 確かに

Firstly, I visited Heisenji-Hakusan shrine(平泉寺白山神社), which I visited after a long time. The green mos covering the shrine that survived the harsh, long winter was beautiful. The precincts of the shrine had been cleaned up by local people on the day I visited. The shrine was so spiritually clean that I could pray at it smoothly.

  • after a long time 久しぶりに
  • mos 苔
  • survive 生き残る
  • harsh 厳しい
  • precinct 境内

Then next, I headed for Hakusan-Chukyo shrine(白山中居神社). The prefectural road on the way was narrow and since I saw some fallen rocks on the road that must’ve fallen from a cliff on the left side, I drove carefully. My car navigation system didn’t tell me exactly where the shrine was located, but I managed to reach it on instinct.

  • prefectrural 県の
  • narrow 狭い
  • cliff 崖
  • exactly 正確に
  • manage to~ どうにかして〜する
  • instinct 本能

I stopped my car in the parking lot in front of the shrine and looked up the huge trees on both sides of the approach leading to the main building of the shrine. I saw two Tengus(天狗)protecting the shrine on the tree tops. I hadn’t seen such a shrine for a long time. As in Tamaki Shrine(玉置神社) in Nara prefecture, Tengus, being a nature spirit, disappear from shrines as the traffic around them gets heavy and noisy.

  • parking lot 駐車場
  • huge 巨大な
  • approach 参道
  • traffic 交通

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When you visit such a shrine where Tengus keep an eye out for intruders, you had better not take any insulting and disrespectful act. Thinking “I must get hurt if I’m not serious enough,” I told my families to walk slowly and watch their steps.

  • keep an eye out for A  Aを見張る
  • had better not~ 〜しない方が良い
  • insulting 侮辱的な
  • disrespectful   無礼な
  • get hurt 怪我をする

I found a huge rock in the middle of the approach, when I saw a vision in my mind that, when a man with a disrespectful mental attitude intruded into the precincts, a long long time ago though,  a Tengu threw the huge rock at the man and he was squashed by it. Thinking that his bones must’ve been under the rock, I gazed at it on bended knees together with my families.

  • in the middle of A Aのど真ん中に
  • irrelevant 不適切な
  • squash 押しつぶす
  • gaze じっと見る

The approach descended abruptly and its stone steps were slippery because of spring water. In case you fall and hit your head on the ground, you’re sure to get seriously injured. So if you have weak legs, you should avoid the approach and instead take the path on the left side of the front guard gate that leads to the main building.

  • descend 下がる
  • slippery 滑り易い
  • spring water 湧き水
  • path 小道

We went on the approach, which looked as if it refused any visitor, and managed to get to the main building, where a chief priest of the shrine was preparing for a purification ceremony. A child, who seemed like his grandson, was following around him, with his tiny hands holding the priest’s Hakama(袴), a man’s formal divided skirt.

  • as if S+V まるでSがVするかのように
  • refuse 拒む
  • chief priest 神官
  • purification  祓い
  • grandson 孫息子

The priest had a great, dignified face.  It’s hard to explain but he had the same distinctive aura as that of an ascetic mountain priest. Then we climbed up the steep stone steps and finally stood in front of the main building.

To be continued.

  • dignified 威厳のある
  • aura 雰囲気
  • ascetic  苦行の
  • steep 険しい

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

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

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Diary on a Trip to Ise – PART 9

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When I was in my early twenties, I would often go to Mt. Miwa(三輪山)in Nara prefecture, Takinohara-miya shrine(瀧原宮), and Geku(外宮) of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮), riding on my medium-sized motorbike.

  • would often~ よく〜したものだ
  • motorbike バイク

There are two important lines of the solar orbit in Japan in terms of the sun worship. One is the straight line between Ise Grand Shrine and Awaji Island. The holy energy fell on this line about 3000 years ago, when the present Japan civilization rose.

  • orbit 軌道
  • in terms of A Aの観点から
  • civilization  文明
  • rise  興隆する

Nara on this line became the center of politics and the Japan civilization started. On this line, along which the sun moves from Ise through Awaji Island to Izumo Taisha Shrine(出雲大社), a lot of dwelling places of deities and sites for the sun worship were built in ancient times.

  • center 中心
  • politics 政治
  • dwelling 住居用の
  • deity 神

Though this Ise-Awaji line functioned well until the end of Showa era, it was replaced with the straight line between Ise and Mt.Hakusan as the line on which holy energy falls at the beginning of Heisei era.

  • function 機能する
  • replace 取って代わる

The sun orbit is “the heavenly line,” while “the earth line” related to the energy of underground  still lies between Ise and Awaji Island. When the earth line moves, a big earthquake will occur at dawn.

  • haevenly 天の
  • related 関係した
  • occur 起きる
  • dawn 夜明け

This important line between Ise and Mt. Hakusan is beginning to wake. However, the truth is, before the Ise-Awaji line began to function, the Ise-Hakusan line had been functioning for a long, long time. The civilization at that time had been gone and is  unknown. The Ise-Awaji line and the Ise-Hakusan line have been playing the main role by turns through civilizations. The content or characteristics of a civilization changes depending on which of the lines plays the main role.

  • wake 目覚める
  • be gone なくなる
  • unknown 未知の
  • by turns 代わる代わる
  • content 中身

While the Ise-Awaji line is related to the material world, the Ise-Hakusan line to the spiritual world. The Sengu ritual(遷宮)of Ise Grand Shrine where all the buildings are replaced with new ones every twenty years symbolizes this change of the heavenly line.

  • material 物質的な
  • relatead 関係した
  • every ~ years 〜年毎に
  • symbolize 象徴する

I visited Takihara-no-miya shrine for the first time in twenty years. The impression I got this time was very different from that I got in Showa era. It looked very slimmed-down. A typhoon might have reduced the number of giant trees around the shrine. The approach to the main building of the shrine used to be dark and there used to be a lot of sprites of trees in the holy place of the shrine.

  • for the first time in ~ years 〜年ぶりに
  • slimmed- down ほっそりした
  • recude 減らす
  • sprite 妖精

Takihara-no-miya shrine was used by Yamato-hime-no-mikoto  (倭姫命)as a transit point when she went to and returned from Mt. Miwa and Ise. The shrine still reminds me of ancient affairs. As the Ise-Hakusan line replaces the Ise-Awaji line, the shrine will cease to be active quietly.

  • transit point 中継地点
  • remind A of B AにBを思い出させる
  • affairs 出来事
  • active 活発な

What impressed me most during this trip to Ise is how important mutual concessions are. Old roadways in Ise and those in the town near the beach are very narrow. I gave way to others on the road again and again. I went on the mountain paths, too, but I could get back safe and sound.

  • impress 感銘を与える
  • mutual 相互の
  • concession 譲歩
  • roadway 街道
  • narrwo 狭い
  • give way 道を譲る
  • safe and soud 無事に

I thought of this experience in Ise as a divine message that although the world would go on a difficult path, mutual concessions between nations could iron out all the world problems after all.  I thought I could go back home and rest, but …

To be continued.

  • divine 神の
  • path 道
  • nation 国家
  • solve 解決する
  • iron out A Aを解決する

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

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Diary on a Trip to Ise – PART 8

When I was driving toward a highway leaving Ise behind, where I stayed for three days, I noticed there were a lot of signboards with the word “Uji(宇治)” or “Yamada(山田)” on them. I considered what “Uji-Yamada” really meant. Some local person told me that old people living in Ise had called the Ise region “Yamada” since long time ago. When they go to Ise, they say “I’m going to Yamada,” not “Ise.”

  • leave A behind  Aを後にする
  • notice 気がつく
  • signboard 看板
  • consider  よく考える
  • region 地方

In the study of folklore, it is said that oral tradition often depicts the ancient world correctly. Though there are many theories on the origin of the name Yamada, what came to my mind was the word “confrontation.”

  • folklore 民俗
  • oral 口の
  • depict 描く
  • theory 説
  • confrontation 対立

According to my spiritual vision, the area before the main gate of Geku used to be called Yamada, while the area around Naiku Uji. One day in an ancient time, one of the three stone pillars that acted as a medium for the presence of God was brought from Mt.Hakusan to Geku, and after this many rites and rituals came to be held there. At this time, Naiku didn’t exist yet. The foundation of Naiku is relatively recent.

  • according to A Aによると
  • ancient 古代の
  • stone pillar 石柱
  • medium 媒介物
  • exist 存在する
  • relatively  比較的に
  • recent 最近の

Because the stone pillar was one and only, wooden pillars of Hinoki, a Japanese cypress, were substituted for it and put under the grounds of the main buildings of Geku and Naiku as special holy objects of worship. This pillar is called “Imibashira(忌柱)” “Ameno-mi-hasira(天ノ御柱)” or “Ameno-mi-hakari-no-hashira(天ノ御量柱).” I can “see” the ancient stone pillar brought from Mt. Hakusan has been buried deep under the ground of a certain holy area of the precincts of Geku.

  • substitute 代用する
  • object 対象
  • worship 崇拝
  • precinct 敷地

The shinto ritual where a new wooden pillar is put under the ground of the main building of Geku and Naiku every twenty years is the most important of all. It is a secret ritual held by high-ranked shinto priests at midnight.

  • every A years A年毎に
  • high-ranked 高位の
  • priest 神官

I feel that ancient people in Ise lived only in the area in front of Geku. Naiku was surrounded by a huge forest. Ruins of the Jomon Era such as pit dwellings must be discovered at the Yamada district where Geku is located. The name of Yamada is derived from the transition of pronunciation from “Yamatai” to “Yah-ma-tai” to “Yah-ma-da” to “Yamada.” That is, Yamada was part of Yamataikoku(邪馬台国), the historical Japanese state thought to have existed during the late Yayoi period.

  • ruin 遺跡
  • era 時代
  • pit dwelling 竪穴式住居
  • be derived from A Aに由来する
  • transition 移り変わり

The sound of Yamataikoku lies in the name of Yamada. Yamataikoku that the Gishi-wajin-den(魏志倭人伝) refers to  ruled the regions, ranging from Ise to the whole region of Kumano, and its capital was near Mt. Miwa in Nara prefecture. I feel that Himiko(卑弥呼) is the name of a position and there were successive Himikos. Yamatohime-no-mikoto(倭姫命)was one of such Himikos.

  • refer to A Aに言及する
  • range 範囲に及ぶ
  • successive 歴代の

It was when Princess Yamato-hime came to the present Ise, carrying part of Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神)on her back that the area around Naiku was developed. Uji (氏)clan of a privileged class, came to Ise from Nara and developed the present district of Uji(宇治). The name of “宇治” comes from that of the clan, “氏.”

  • develop 開発する
  • clan 族
  • privilleged class 特権階級

There was an emotional conflict for a long time between the people who had lived in Yamada district since ancient times with their indigenous faith, and the aristocracies who came to live in Uji, with a river lying between. It can be said that the confrontation between them corresponded to that between Kunitsu-kami (国津神)and Amatsu-kami(天津神). I feel that people in Yamada district had exchanges with those in Isobe(磯部) district,  a seaside town beyond a mountain, because they also kept the second stone pillar of Mt.Hakusan.

  • conflict 摩擦
  • indigeous 土着の
  • aristocracy 貴族
  • transcription 転写
  • corrspond 相当する
  • exchange 交流

I left for another shrine, Takihara-no-miya shrine(瀧原宮), enjoying the ancient view my holy spirit showed me.

To be continued.

  • another もう一つの
  • view 眺め
  • holy 聖なる

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

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE.

Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 4

Then Mr.H said to me “There’s an old shrine called Ichi-no-miya of Shima on the seaside of Toba. The road to the shrine is narrow and the shrine is hard to reach, but would you like to go?” Feeling something attractive about the shrine, I decided to go there.

  • shrine 神社
  • narrow 狭い
  • attractive 魅力的な

The narrow forest road often made us hesitate to go on. But since he told me that he had been there before by car, we moved on. The road was narrower than I expected and very bumpy. There were a lot of sharp carves on the way and I often pulled up my car at the corner, saying “Are you serious?”

  • forest road 林道
  • hesitate ためらう
  • bumpy でこぼこの
  • pull up A Aを止める

We continued to go through the thicket, my car’s door mirrors almost touching the trees and plants. It was lucky that there was no oncoming car. An oncoming one could have made me run off.

  • thicket 藪
  • oncoming car 対向車
  • run off 脱輪する

Having managed to pass through the thicket, we reached a beautiful, small cove. I stopped my car and we walked to the shrine on the seaside, Izawa-shrine(伊射波神社). Beyond the Torii, a front guard frame, there was a long, steep approach to the shrine. The approach was so hard to walk on that an old man couldn’t walk. Walking about a hundred meters, I stopped to look back. A very beautiful blue ocean was lying beyond the Torii.

  • manage to~ どうにかして〜する
  • cove 入江
  • approach 参道
  • look back 振り返ってみる
  • lie 横たわる

The sight of the view made me see a vision of an ancient world in my mind, where a strange creature was crawling the approach, whose upper part of the body was that of a human but its lower part was that of a crocodile. The creature’s stomach was bulging out, so I thought it was pregnant. The creature crawled up the steep approach and at the shrine on top of the approach it gave birth to her child. My Kenzoku-shin told me that the child was Toyotama-hime.

  • ancient 古代の
  • crocodile ワニ
  • crawl 這う
  • pregnant 妊娠した
  • steep 急な
  • give birth to A Aを出産する

A behavior of sea creatures like a sea turtle giving birth on land seems to have existed since ancient times. Sand of a beach is not suitable for lay an egg in terms of heat humidity retention, so such sea creatures must have climbed a mountain to lay an egg. Thanks to this vision, I understood that Sandou(参道), an approach to a shrine, means Sandou(産道), a birth canal, and that Ubusuna(産土), a birth place, means Ubusuna(産砂), sand for childbirth.

  • behavior 行動
  • suitable 適した
  • humidity retention 保湿
  • mean 意味する

Then I remembered seeing the same kind of vision at Kotohiragu(金刀比羅宮) in Shikoku district. I feel that, in many parts of the world on the Pacific Ocean of ancient times, there existed creatures of spiritually half-human and half-crocodile for a short period of time in human evolution. They lived in a half-material, half-spiritual world in a super ancient time before this world was materialized.

  • district 地方
  • part 地域
  • exist 存在する
  • evolution 進化
  • materialize 物質化する

Descriptions of such creatures are found here and there in Japanese myths. They are like characters of anime, but the authors of the myths or legends might have just described the truth. The modern science completely denies the human evolution from spiritual beings to material ones.This is why it cannot unlock the secret of how life came into being.

  • description 描写
  • myth 神話
  • deny 否定する
  • unlock 明かす
  • come into being 生じる

The name of Izawa is the same as the name of Izawa-no-miya(伊雑宮). The two shrines are near to each other. “Izawa” suggests the deity who “induces and unites” and also the goddess who reconciled her parents, Izanagi and Izanami.

  • each other お互い
  • induce 促す
  • unite 統合する
  • reconcile 和解させる

I also feel in the word “Izawa” the existence of Jews who came to Ise in ancient times. I perceived the existence of the prophet called Isaiah,too. I think the custom inherited by people in Ise of putting up Shime-nawa, a rope used to cordon off consecrated areas or as a talisman against evil, at their entrances is derived from the custom that was practiced by Ancient Jews. I was impressed by a lot of shrines in Toba where deities are still spiritually active.

To be continued.

  • existence 存在
  • Jews ユダヤ人
  • perceive 近くする
  • prophet 預言者
  • derived 由来する
  • impress 感銘を与える

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

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 3

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I met with Mr.H living in Ise, and we decided to go into the woods as far as the source of Isuzu river (五十鈴川)because visiting common places would be boring. On the way, I found a small local shrine near Naiku (内宮)called Uji shrine(宇治神社). Its deity is called “god of foot” and I hear some famous marathon runner visits this shrine to pray.

  • source  源
  • shrine 神社
  • on the way 途中で
  • pray 祈願する

When passing the shrine by car, I perceived strong spiritual energy of a fox spirit. Unfortunately, a lot of negative energy of human greed was accumulated there and its original function was hidden. According to Mr.H, the shrine had existed before Niku was founded and it’s the center of the indigenous faith. Some people suspect it used to be the true Ise Grand Shrine. Because of my Kenzokushin’s order, I decided to visit the shrine again on the way back.

  • perceive 近くする
  • unfortunately 残念なことに
  • greed 欲望
  • accumulate 蓄積させる
  • indigenous 土着の

The forest road along Isuzu river was very narrow and dangerous. It was within the holy precincts of Ise Grand Shrine and general people other than inhabitants were prohibited from entering it. The road was so narrow that two cars couldn’t pass each other. On the left side of the road was the precipice of the river. I drove carefully with a truck for forestry or a local person’s car often coming from the opposite direction.

  • narrow 狭い
  • precincts 境内
  • other than 以外の
  • prohibit 禁止する
  • precipice 断崖

Historically speaking, the whole basin of Isuzu river belonged to Ise Grand Shrine, but parts of the area were registered by private citizens after the World War Ⅱ under the direction of GHQ, General Headquarters of the Allied Forces.

  • historically speaking 歴史的に言えば
  • basin 流域
  • register 登録する
  • direction 指示

Going up the river a little, I found the river suddenly narrowed. I was very surprised to see a lot of megalithic groups near or in the river. There were some gigantic stones as large as a house. Such a scenery is peculiar to Ise, I thought.

  • narrow 狭くなる
  • suddenly 突然
  • megalithic group 巨石群
  • peculiar 特有の

Ancient gigantic stones called Iwakura(磐座) are where God descends on. They function as memory devices for spiritual energy of Holy Spirit. The larger a stone, the more spiritual energy it can amass.

  • ancient 古代の
  • descend 降臨する
  • device 装置
  • amass 溜め込む

I felt that this geological formation where a lot of gigantic stones lie has something to do with the reason why Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神) chose Ise as the sacred place of God. I suppose that there are a number of gigantic stones as large as a house deep under the ground of Naiku and Geku(外宮)of Ise Grand Shrine.

  • geological formation 地層
  • have something to do with A Aと何か関係がある
  • sacred 神聖な
  • suppose 仮定する

After looking at the megalithic groups along the river, I visited Uji shrine. This shrine is outside the jurisdiction of Ise Grand Shrine. There was a signboard in front of the main building, on which the names of deities and famous historical people were written. This way of spelling their names is wrong, I thought.

  • jurisdiction 管轄
  • signboard 掲示板
  • building 建物

Looking at a small mountain in front of the main building casually, I felt strong holy energy. The mountain itself must’ve been a super gigantic stone. Then I got a vision that ancient people are performing rituals regarding this gigantic stone as Iwakura. I thought the rumor that this shrine might be the origin of Naiku is not altogether unreasonable. After this, I headed for a much more dangerous spot.

To be continued.

  • casually 何気なく
  • ritual 儀式
  • rumor 噂
  • not altogether 完全に〜という訳ではない
  • head for A Aに向かう

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

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 2

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After eating Ise-udon, I started walking to the Ise Station, when I found a shrine next the one in front of the restaurant. The same Inari-shin(稲荷) as that of Geku was enshrined there. I thought “I knew it.” The faith of Inari-shin had spread all over Ise.

  • enshrine 祀る
  • faith 信仰
  • spread  広がる

I got into my car I had parked at a coin-operated parking and headed for Yamato-hime-miya(倭姫宮). It was near the town and a good, quiet shrine with a long approach surrounded by the deep forest.

  • coin-operated parking コインパーキング
  • head for A Aに向かう
  • approach 参道
  • surround 囲む

I feel that Yamato-hime, an Imperial princess and the originator of a shinto priest, was a lady whose face was round with the forehead bulging a little bit. Her face shows that she was a strong-willed and hot-tempered woman. Such a  woman is most suitable for divine possession. Though she may not have been happy as a woman, she was loved by Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神).

  • Imperial 皇室の
  • originator 始祖
  • round 丸い
  • forehead 額
  • divine 神の

Then I visited Tsukiyomi-no-miya(月讀宮). I didn’t expect for anything special there, but it was a good shrine, too. There were four buildings side by side in the precinct. Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto(月讀尊) was enshrined in the two buildings each, and Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto were enshrined in the other two buildings.

  • expect 期待する
  • side by side 並んで
  • precinct 境内
  • each それぞれ

As soon as I prayed in front the building of Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto, I unexpectedly felt the energy of Susanoo, which is an important hint as to the mystery of the true identity of Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto. If the four buildings represented that Susanoo, who strayed from his parents according to Kojiki, Japan’s oldest historical record, and his parents, the meaning of three deities being enshrined together would be more clear.

  • as soon as S+V SがVするとすぐに
  • unexpectedly 意外なことに
  • as to A Aに関する
  • true identity 正体
  • represent 表す

Tsukiyomi-no-miya is near Naiku(内宮), so it looks like Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami is watching over by her brother and parents. Though the description about Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto disappears abruptly in Japanese myths, I believe the name Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto is an alternate name of Susanoo in Yomi-no-kuni, the nether world.

  • watch over A  Aを見守る
  • abruptly 唐突に
  • myth 神話
  • alternate 別の
  • nether world 黄泉の国

Lastly, I drove to Mt. Asama on the highway Ise-Shima Skyline, reaching it just in time for its opening hours. I climbed to the top of the mountain because it was an important point for sun worship. It being evening then, there was something mysterious, or an aura of the nether world, about the temple at the top.

  • in time  間に合って
  • sun worship 太陽崇拝
  • aura オーラ

Then I left there for the observation platform. There was a footbath there and around it I found some debris of Iwakura, a rock where divine energy falls down. I was immersed in my feelings for a while, thinking about Mt.Hakusan.

  • observation platform 展望台
  • debri 残骸
  • be immerced in A Aに耽る

I drove down to the town for a business meeting and the first night of my business trip to Ise was over. I was to go out with the local man in quest of Ise the next day. It was something of an adventure.

To be continued.

  • stray off 
  • quest 探索
  • something of a A ちょっとしたA
  • adventure 冒険

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

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE

Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 1

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Late in March, I was told by a client company to go on a business trip to Mie prefecture. It was a three-day trip beginning from April 8. The next morning, while I was performing a shinto ritual, my Kenzoku-shin informed me that this business trip would be very important, and ordered that I should bring all the kami-fuda(神札), a kind of talisman issued by shinto shrines, in my house with me.

  • client  顧客
  • prefecture 県
  • ritual 儀式
  • inform 知らせる
  • issue 発行する

Luckily, I happened to have nothing to do on April 9, so a local person, who lived in Ise and was related to the client company, offered to be a guide to show me around great spots in the nature of Ise that only local people knew.

  • happen to~  たまたま〜する
  • show A around B AにBを案内する

On the first day, April 8, I left my house before dawn and arrived at the company in Mie prefecture around 9:00. I finished almost all the work by noon, so I headed for Geku(外宮) of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮).

  • dawn 夜明け
  • almost ほとんど
  • head for A Aに向かう

Getting to the main entrance of Geku, I was surprised to see a lot of trucks and heavy machines in the precincts. They were for Shikinen-sengu ceremony(式年遷宮), where the buildings in Ise Grand Shrine are all rebuilt every twenty years. The water in front of the main building was being drained. I went to the front of the main building to pray, with heavy machines making a lot of noise.  Unusually, I didn’t feel anything special while praying. I just dedicated my gratitude to God for all people, including me, being kept alive.

  • heavy machine 重機
  • precinct 境内
  • rebuild 改築する
  • drain 排水する
  • pray 祈る
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち

Then I went to another building called Taka-no-miya(多賀宮)in Geku, where I perceived the same symbol of Polaris with strange color that I felt every time I go to the main building. I wondered if the deity moved there because of the construction. The local person I met the next day told me that the name Taka-no-miya is derived from the fact that it was at a higher place than the main building. (“Taka” means “high” in Japanese)

  • perceive 知覚する
  • Polaris  北極星
  • construction 工事
  • be derived 由来する

After visiting Geku, I walked to Tsukiyomi-no-miya(月夜見宮). There was an elementary school on the way. It was break time of the school, so I heard a joyful, energetic voice of the children playing on the schoolyard.

  • elementary school 小学校
  • on the way 途中で
  • schoolyard 校庭

Hardly had I reached Tsukiyomi-no-miya when I perceived figurines in the shape of a fox and an altar, which were in front of a hole of a big tree in the left side of the main building, emitting spiritual magnetism. I had an interest in it. The local person said to me “Neighbors must’ve put those things without permission. Jingu side seems to be overlooking it in deference to the faith they have.” The figurines and altar, I felt, were not put for such a simple reason. The people in the neighborhood have had an  indigenous faith so firmly since a long time ago that Jingu side cannot help but admit it.

  • figurine 像
  • altar 祭壇
  • emit 放出する
  • magnetsim 磁気
  • permission 許可
  • overlook 大目に見る
  • indigenous 土着の

Having visited Tsukiyomi-no-miya, I felt like eating Ise-udon, so I went to a famous restaurant near Uji-Yamada station. The Ise-udon served there was much more delicious than that in other restaurants for tourists and it was quite reasonable in price and amount. A lot of local people were coming into the restaurant one after another. The restaurant is a good restaurant loved by the local people, I thought.

To be continued.

  • feel like ~ing 〜したい気がする
  • one after  another 次から次へと
  • to be continued 続く

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

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE