Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) was the first monarch of the Empire of Japan that built the strong foundation for "Japanese miracle". He carried out many transformation in society and quickly turned Japan into a modern country.
The Meiji Shrine, located right next to bustling Harajuku Station, is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. The man-made “Eternal Forest” surrounding the Meiji Shrine covers an area of approximately 700,000 square meters, and was planted with around 100,000 trees of 365 species.
Passing through a torii gate made from ancient cypress trees that are about 1,700 years old to enter the Shrine where you'll see lots of lanterns and beautifully decorated sake barrels.
We come to the Temizuya, situated just in front of the last torii gate (where to purify our hands and mouth before visiting the temple). We use a bamboo ladle, scoop some water from the basin, cleanse our left hand first, next wash our right hand, then pour a little water into our cupped left hand to cleanse our mouth, wash our left hand one more time, and finally we use the remaining water to rinse handle of the dipper and put it back in place.
At Main Chamber at Meiji Shrines, we throw coins into the offering box before praying, then we bow twice to show respect and gratitude to the Gods, then we clap our hands twice to drive out evil spirits and bow once. These are the basic rituals for worshiping at shrines in Japan. Next to the main shrine, there is an area where devotees can write their wishes on wooden boards and hang them up.
Meiji Jingu is also a popular venue for traditional Japanese weddings. I was lucky enough to attend a traditional wedding here over the weekend. During the New Year, many people visit this place for praying.
In the past, Japan, under the leadership of Emperor Meiji, knew how to seize the opportunity to reform and develop the country. Currently, Vietnam is also trying to reform to attract investment capital for country development. Once Vietnam's economy develops, it will be more job opportunities for Obayashi Vietnam, won’t it? Let's hope for a bright future.
Bui Huy Hoang / ME Department
Obayashi Vietnam Corporation -Hanoi Branch
Under training in Japan from September 13, 2022