Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How Do I Do Hatsumode?

I was in Japan last year for New Year's, and was able to do hatsumode (first shrine visit of the year) at a few different shrines, both local and not so local. I was hoping to be able to do it again this year but it's looking pretty difficult.

You'd think, what with all of the people of Japanese ancestry in California, that there would be a shinto shrine here. And if this was 10 years ago, you'd be right. But in 2001, the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, the first shinto shrine erected in North America, was moved from Stockton to its present home in Granite Falls, Washington, outside of Seattle. Although I briefly considered making the trek, it really is too far. You can order omamori (amulets) through the website, so maybe I'll do that instead.

But that still doesn't help me come the new year. According to Wikipedia there are also shrines in Hawaii, Colorado and New York, and as much as I'd like a trip to Hawaii that's just not going to happen.

I guess instead of hatsumode I'll just go to Japantown and do hatsukaimono, that being the first shopping trip of the year.

1 comment:

  1. I believe Japanese people in America instead to hatsumode at the Buddhist temples or Konko Churches (Konko is a sort of new age-y offshoot of Shinto). In all cases, it's not the same experience. I wish there were real shrines in California.