The Glad Game > 2010年3月1日のアーカイブ

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LingQディスカッション 伊勢神宮、電子カルテ




Ise shrine and Amaterasu

This essay is based on what we talked about yesterday. Ise shrine is in Mie prefecture where Naomi and Emiko live.

Worship of nature is an indigenous religion of Japan which is called Shinto. There are said to be eight million gods in our country, as almost everything such as kitchens, rivers, and farms contain a god in them.

Ise shrine is at the top of Shinto’s hierarchy. It dates back to the 7th century. It worships the Sun goddess Amaterasu. According to the oldest Japanese history book, the first emperor of Japan who ascended to the throne in 660 B.C was a descendant of Amaterasu. Therefore, the shrine is very important to Japanese people.

There is a famous myth of Amaterasu. Once upon a time, when she got angry with her brother’s misbehavior, she hid in a cave and closed up the entrance with a big rock. Because she was the sun goddess, the world went black, and chaos crept in. The eight million gods got together to bring her back. They had a joyous festival, performed dances, and played music outside of the cave. When she peeked out from the opening to see what was going on, sunshine broke through the darkness. Then everything came back in order.

As many as seven million people visit Ise shrine every year. The Imperial family holds traditional events, and the prime minister visits there at the beginning of the year. People wish for the safety of their families, success in business, and a good marriage.

It is all just superstition, but many people believe that couples who visit the Ise shrine will break up because the female god is jealous of them. I don’t think the sun goddess, as great as she is, pronounces curses on young couples out of jealousy. However, I don’t want to make this come true for myself by going out with my future husband.

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