When you are in Japan, when you are in a bit more away from the center or even inside the center, you might find a temple or more commonly, an unassuming shrine. You can find these shrines quite easily as you have to keep your eye open for either the torii gates or an overgrown patch of vegetation in an otherwise concrete jungle. This is one of the shrines inside Musashino.
Now you are at a shrine and what do you wanna do? You wanna pray, right? Say hi to the gods and thank for all the fish? But how many claps and bows were there? Thanks to the internet, there’s a link right here which will explain why you gotta do everything. But here is how it’s done for the ultra-lazy.
First we gotta purify ourselves first. In the smaller shrines there’s no purifying fountain, so you can skip this if you feel like you’re pure enough. If there’s a water fountain to scoop water with a bamboo ladle, then the order is
- Scoop water
- Rinse right hand
- Rinse left hand
- With the water on the left hand, rinse the mouth
- Throw the rest of the water on the ground
Now we go to the actual altar. Now listen closely, as it’s really simple.
- Throw in the money (Don’t skimp!)
- Ring the bell (If there is one)
- Bow twice, nice and deep.
- Clap twice
- Bow once again before leaving
So there you have it. Two bows, two claps, then you pray, then you bow once again. Simple as that.
Now if your Japanese friends are more left-leaning or they’re more in tune with the modern movements, then they might not want to go to a Shinto shrine. The reason is that history is repeating itself once again. The right-wing and the Japanese version of the alt-right are reclaiming their proud Japanese heritage and instead of shitting in the fields just like their noble ancestors did, they pray at Shinto shrines when they’re taking a break between harassing Korean women, reading GATE (or any other cute-war drivel), and shitposting on the internet.
But you know, obviously somebody has to stay at the vanguard, huh.