Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sound the Bells

This is the end of the large rope that rings the bell at Hikawa Shrine (氷川神社). The proper way to pray varies slightly depending on the shrine but many go like this:

1. Step up and ring the bell
2. Bow twice
3. Clap twice
4. Pray (don't forget to say your name!) and throw coins in offering box
5. Bow once

Pretty simple right?

The reason we ring the bells and clap before we pray is, not only to wake up the gods and get their attention, but the sound also purifies our aura and allows us to communicate more clearly with the gods.


  1. I am not very coordinated and don't follow directions well either, so I just practiced pretending to ring the bell and do everything else and I could actually do it. But I know that I would mess it up if other people were watching! - I love learning about Japanese culture! Thanks for being so detailed and explaining it so succinctly. It is such a treat to learn these things!

  2. I love the first shot. Very artistic and perfect in b&w.

    PS: We have talked about doing a Japanese night in my cooking class. But our budget for ingredients is limited and the ingredients for Japanese food tend to be a bit pricey. I wouldn't mind paying a bit more, but some of the others in the class may not be able to. So I guess we'll see!

  3. That is a great angle and focus and ohjusteverything. When I first came to Japan, I could never get it right. Now I can do it without making a fool of myself. Usually. PS: I must really go to Hikawa ...

  4. A piece of art, both the entry and its images.

    daily athens photo

  5. I love the angle here, and learning about Japanese culture. I'm sure I'd forget to do something in that list if I tried.

  6. Lovely shots but now I'm wondering about the colours!

  7. I'm always curious about the bells, i would love to give it a try sometime. thanks for the tip.. ^0^

  8. Great shots!!! Love the perspective in the first one!
    I love that your culture uses the bells and clapping to
    "wake up the gods and get their attention"! I never quite understood how God could hear everyone's individual prayers at the same time and not get them mixed up!

  9. So interesting Kaori, I think I could manage that!

  10. With my life, I don't know how many gods I want to wake up! hahahaha!

  11. The top photo looks kind of like a hula dancer with anorexia.

  12. Hi everyone! Thanks so much for the comments and very sorry how late I am in replying!


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