Meiji Shrine and Princess Mononoke

Hi there. How are you doing? Strolling around Tokyo is so exciting and every time I go visit there, I make a trip to various spots and I cherish my good old memories that I used to live there 2 decades ago. I want to keep posting interesting articles for those who live in Tokyo area or who used to live there or who are planning to go visit there. I hope you enjoy my blog and get some useful tips.

みなさん、こんにちは。東京街歩きはとても楽しくて、私は上京する度に様々な名所を訪問して、二十年前にこの地に住んだ頃の思い出をまた温め直しています。東京近辺に住んだことのある方も、或いは今住んでいる方も、また訪れてみたいと検討されている方にとっても興味深いと感じて頂ける記事を書いて行きたいと思っています。どうぞよろしくお付き合いくださいませ。

One severely hot August afternoon, I dropped by Meiji Shrine where enshrines Meiji Emperor and Meiji Empress.

明治天皇と皇后を祀っている明治神宮を、酷暑の八月末のある昼下がりに訪れました。

The vast premises was like a deep forest and it was surrounded with some cool air. It was indeed a different world. The place reminded me a stage of world famous movie “Princess Mononoke” which Hayao Miyazaki conducted. The readers of this blog might have seen the movie as well, and if you wish to actually see and experience the atmosphere, I highly recommend to pay a visit to the Meiji Shrine.

広い広い境内は深い森となっていて、ひんやりとする様な冷気にも包まれていて異界の様でした。宮崎駿監督が作った映画「もののけ姫」の舞台を彷彿とさせます。「もののけ姫」は海外でも高い人気を誇る映画なので、もしもその世界観を味わいたいと思っている方がいるのならば、是非明治神宮を訪れてください。

According to a theory from an ancient era, it is believed a shrine represents a body of a woman. And a road that leads to the main sanctuary is considered to be the birth canal. I went through 3 torii (a gateway to a shrine), to reach the main sanctuary. As I was walking by, I was thinking about a belief of Shintoism that believes 8 million gods exist. 8 million gods worship is same as animism; spirit worship. It respects a teaching that there exists gods in any creatures. I was thinking this or that and I assumed that the ultimate spirit that Shintoism honors is negative ion that trees are emitting. People might think it is somehow so godly in a sense. This is just my guess and I don’t know any background, though…

古来からの説によると神社とは女の人の体を表し、鳥居から本殿まで続く参道は産道と考えられているそうです。三つの鳥居をくぐって本殿まで歩く道すがら、日本に於ける八百万の神への信仰について思いを巡らせていました。八百万の神とはアニミズム、つまり精霊信仰であり、ありとあらゆるものの中に神が宿るとする教えを尊ぶものです。そしてその最たるものが樹木から発せられるマイナス・イオンの一種神々しくも感じられる霊気ではないかと考察したりしていました。

Along the way, there are hundreds of Sake, Japanese rice wine barrels. They are from all across Japan to present Meiji Emperor. The view was just stunning.

参道の途中には、日本各地津々浦々の酒造が明治天皇に奉納した酒樽がズラリと並び、壮麗とも言える景観でした。

During Meiji Era (1868-1912) when Meiji Emperor was enthroned, Japan became wildly westernized. It is described as “civilization blooming period” and Japanese welcomed western things and cultures. Interestingly, a propaganda of “Japanese spirit with western talent” was highly advocated and we never choose to abandon our Japanese spirit. I found a sign on a post that says Meiji Emperor also changed his outfit from kimono to western clothes and enjoyed western cuisines and wine. It was a very interesting knowledge to learn.

また明治天皇が即位していた明治時代(1868-1912) は文明開化の到来の元、和魂洋才が叫ばれ積極的に洋式のものが取り入れられ始めた時代です。明治天皇も着物から洋装に変え、積極的に洋食やワインを好んで召し上がっていたとの立て札もあり、非常に興味深い学びを得ました。

And this is the main sanctuary.

そしてこちらが本殿になります。

There is a “godly tree” beside the sanctuary and it is believed a god is living inside. There are many votive tablets around the tree.

本殿脇には御神木があり、この木にも神が宿るとされ、多くの絵馬が納められています。

Seeing is believing. Even if you know some words or concepts about a certain thing, you really learn much more when you actually go visit the place. Tokyo is gigantic and there are so many mesmerizing charms in this metropolis. Please make a trip to Tokyo and see things from many different angles. Each and every aspect of Tokyo is so unique and different. There are full of wonders in this capital that Japan is proud of.

言葉や概念を知っていても、実際に足を運びその場所に身をおいて初めて知ることはとても多いものです。みなさんも東京の様々な場所へ赴いて、この豊かな文化を持つ都のことをそれぞれの角度から切り取って、楽しんでみてください。東京は訪れる場所ごとに異なる表情を見せてくれる、不思議がぎっしりと詰まった魅惑的な都です。

That’s all for today. We are so excited to host the next Tokyo Olympics Games! Blessings to each one of you!

それでは今日はここまで。日本は次の東京オリンピックに向けて盛り上がって来ています。皆さんお一人お一人に豊かな祝福があります様に!

 

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