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Thread: My first visit to a Shinto Shrine

  1. #1
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    Default My first visit to a Shinto Shrine

    I made my first visit to a Shinto Shrine yesterday, the Kannagara Jinjya in Granite Falls, Washington. I've been told it's the only Shinto shrine in the Continental US.

    I went there to take a few pictures and ask a few questions for a paper I'm writing for my Japanese Studies class, but I ended up participating in a Morning Ceremony, having tea with the priest in his upstairs tatami room, and having a Personal Prayer Service -- and suddenly it was two hours later and I was running late, so I didn't take any more pictures nor ask any questions.

    Despite the fact that the services were all in Japanese, which I don't speak, and despite that fact that I know next to nothing about Shinto and had not a clue what was going on, I left with a feeling of well-being that I had next expected.

    I do now sort of understand how Roman Catholics felt when Mass was always held in Latin no matter what language the congregation spoke. Despite being given a book with romanized Japanese text I could barely follow along, because the Japanese that was being chanted barely resembled what was printed on the page. The priest later told me that it was also archaic Japanese, sort of like holding a Christian service in Ye Olde English.

    I want to learn more about what the ritual elements of the ceremonies mean, and how it came to be that an American man came to be a Shinto priest. But in the mean time I just wanted to share my brief experience with the members of the board, and envite others to do the same.

    I'm posting below the two pictures I did take, and if anyone wants to learn more about this shrine here's the link: Kannagara Jinjya -- just click on the Torii symbol near the Pacific Northwest on the map.
    Last edited by Brian Owens; 5th May 2004 at 21:31.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Here's a shot of the interior. I made the mistake of using an on-camera flash, so there's some glare of the mirror and metal at the alter, but otherwise it's not too bad.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    This is a closeup of one of the lions at the entrance. It's twin was somewhat obscured by plants.

    Can anyone tell me what the kanji on the base says?
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    I believe that character means something like "belief, dedication" or something.
    - Michael Bland

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    bored at work. decided to check the web and see if there was anything more helpful for you. Here is a good link with lots of explanations for the character:


    http://www.kanjidict.com/demo/5949.html
    - Michael Bland

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    I was just there a couple of weeks ago. It was a very pleasant place to visit and Rev. Barrish is very friendly fellow. I had the pleasure of attending the Aiki Taisai. I am definitely going to go back for another visit.

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    Originally posted by Oniyama
    I am definitely going to go back for another visit.
    I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. I hope the weather was halfway decent. (Summer and early fall are usually the best times to visit, unless you have webbed feet. )
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Originally posted by Michael Bland
    I believe that character means something like "belief, dedication" or something.

    Here is a good link with lots of explanations for the character:

    http://www.kanjidict.com/demo/5949.html
    Ah, thank you very much.

    Wow. The web site gave a wealth of information. But all that linguistic info at the bottom of the page, yikes; no wonder Japanese seems so intimidating!
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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    Originally posted by Yagyu Kenshi
    I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. I hope the weather was halfway decent. (Summer and early fall are usually the best times to visit, unless you have webbed feet. )
    Actually, the weather was great! I was told that it was unusually warm/nice for that this of year. You really could not ask for better.

  10. #10
    Uki Tori Guest

    Thumbs up I'm writing a report on Shinto

    Brian,

    Those pictures are wonderful! This is my first post here on Budo. I am writing a report on Shinto for Philosophy 190 class. I found (well there's 62 books listed) about 20 very sound sources at the UPS library in tacoma (Though I attend Tacoma Community College). The choice for Shinto was well.. I was to choose a religion that I both knew nothing about and could take somewhere in my heart, studies, interests, ect. The site you mentioned of the Granite Falls Shrine was one of the first places I ended up via reccommendations from a professor. I did not know that this was the only shrine in the contenental us? I hope to contact the priest by email to clarify and backup some of the information I am finding or with luck to teach me something new that would add good things to my term paper. I only wish that I could go to the shrine--not this time of year, student funds are dwindling--and I havent figured out the drive from here yet, but I will for sure find this granite falls place this summer! Oh! Just a short memo, there is a small torii (sacred gateway where the Kami dwell) placed in the Japenese Gardens at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma. I never had the knowledge for it's significance before. It was donated by someone.
    So anyways...searching out info for my studies and I found this great post! Wow!

    Uke.

    Amber Morgan

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    Default Re: I'm writing a report on Shinto

    Welcome to E-Budo Amber. Glad to have you aboard.
    Originally posted by Uki Tori
    ...I only wish that I could go to the shrine--not this time of year, student funds are dwindling--and I havent figured out the drive from here yet...
    Well, if you really want to go (and I recommend it. Reverend Barrish is very nice and I'm sure he could help you a lot) here's an economical way to get there:

    From Tacoma, take either the Sounder train or a bus to Seattle (I don't know the route numbers, but if it's on a weekday the Sounder is the most comfortable way to go -- although it only runs northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening).

    From Seattle take the Sound Transit Express Route 510 to Everett Station. It stops at 4th & Jackson, one block east of the train station. If you have time you can stroll through China Town while you're there.

    At Everett Station transfer to Community Transit Route 280 to Granite Falls (don't forget to ask the ST driver for a transfer -- you've already paid for two zones to get from Seattle to Everett. On the return trip you can get a one zone tranfer from the CT driver, then just pay for one aditional zone for the 510 to Seattle).

    It's a little walk from Granite Falls to the Jinjya, but would be pleasant on a nice day; or you could bring a bike -- all the busses and the train have bike racks.

    It would be about $4 or $5 each way, a little more if you take the train. Figure about 2 1/2 to 3 hours each way, so it's an all-day trip really.

    Either Metro or Pierce Transit should have a customer service phone number that's local for you for specific route, schedule, and price information. Or log on to the Metro Transit Trip Planner Site:

    Metro Trip Planner

    HTH.
    Last edited by Brian Owens; 16th May 2004 at 21:25.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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