American Gretchen Miura lives in the picturesque Oga Peninsula in Akita Prefecture with her Japanese husband and four children. The family presides over Dairyuji, a beautiful temple with 800 years of history, which now Gretchen and her family manage. Savvy Tokyo catches up with Gretchen to learn more about her unusual lifestyle, how she strives to honor the traditional side of temple life while bringing her own fresh perspective and initiatives, and what prompted her to start organizing weekend retreats at the temple in English.
Did you know from the beginning that if you married your husband, you would have to embrace this lifestyle? Did you have to give it a serious thought, or was it more a matter of jumping in and trusting that love would get you through?
I definitely thought it over long and hard, but probably still romanticized it. While I was aware that marrying my husband would mean playing a role at the temple, there was no way to fully understand everything this lifestyle would encompass. As with any marriage, there was an element of trust and just going for it, but yes, it felt like I jumped off a cliff!
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