Sunday, April 6, 2014

TORII'S STORY

Recently I often talk with people in English because a little guest house opened in my neighborhood. I enjoy talking with visitors from all over the world and I felt fortunate that I studied English in U.S.A before. Anyway, I decided to write what I could not tell or explain to them enough there.

As introduction, I write about the name of the guesthouse, Torii-kuguru. Torii means shrine gate, and kuguru is a Japanese verb of "pass through". As you see this picture, Torii-kuguru was named after actual shrine gates that were already put before this building was renovated. For your information, the hostel itself  is not related to Shinto or any other religions. There used be actual shrine, but the content was moved and merged to another shrine decades ago.


For Japanese people, toriis are so close to their daily life. Since Shinto was generated as nature worship, people had built shrines all over the place especially near mountains, rivers and place where you should prevent misfortunes.

This hostel is located along an about 100-year-old shopping mall, and this building used be a butcher's shop. Some people say that former owner was a faithful Shinto believer, and some people say that former owner wanted to calm down poor animal souls, but nobody knows real origin of the former shrine here.

Actual shrines are all cleaned by priests or people of each community. My mom always go to clean her neighbor's uninhabited shrine once a month as a duty. This guest house also look so clean like actual shrine that makes myself calm down.

And, this is me. See you at next article!

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