A large statue of an ox welcomes visitors at Tatsumizu Shrine in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, ahead of 2021, the Year of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac. Photo: KYODO

Shrines prepare to welcome visitors for New Year as virus rages

By Toma Mochizuki

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Go for it. Let's Mooooo in the New Year.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

let the people pray. It’s never had such significance.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Pray for brains and then at least stop it in early 2022 if someone is still left to celebrate.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

how odd that the helicopter in another story here took off from the very town in the photo above.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Wow! Noone in that picture wearing masks. I guess the imaginary spirit of the cow will protect them.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Great symbol for the response to the pandemic economy valuing enrichment of the pruvledged versus lives!

The Golden Calf of Mammon.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

As if you need a physical building to pray. The priests can not forego on the great materialistic benefits these days brings them. 

They could not care less about those not able to see the difference between a belief and organised religious merchandising. 

These 3 days at the temples will cost the lives of many devote people, but also those of caretakers, family members and others. 

The priests should pray. To be forgiven for their selfishness and taking money and goods over the wellbeing of their people.  They know better but do worse.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

and they wonder why the cases is getting higher in japan, i thought people will learn from this pandemic but i think i was wrong

3 ( +7 / -4 )

People can pray anywhere! You can even do it at home.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

pay their respects

Exactly, pay with their pocket, the shine owners it's how they stay afloat

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Probably a bunch of people praying they don't catch covid.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

According to the priest, people find comfort in the presence of shrines in times of crisis, with the structures serving as a place of security in a state of uncertainty.

For elder family members to celebrate New Year in this manner is essential.

The health risks and dangers are clear.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The shrine began implementing anti-coronavirus measures in March when case numbers began to surge, and will require visitors for the New Year to keep a distance between one another, as well as to wear a face mask at all times. They will not, however, limit the number of visitors within its grounds.

In a pandemic even with so called religious body Money trumps the health and well being of those

making the contributions. What a shame shrines and temples use their grounds for commercial purpose as paid packing when they are not supposed considering they are exempt from paying taxes. The forces of law and order and taxation know and pretend they don't know. How about prepare hot meals for the homeless or allow the homeless to use them during the winter.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

gotta get the prayer money

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If people cannot be trusted to obey basic instructions like "stay at home" and "avoid crowds", I don't think you can blame the government if it decides to introduce new laws to ensure it happens. The worry is then what a more extreme government would do with those powers.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If people want to go and pray then that’s fine by me.

If you are scared of COVID then kindly stay indoors, keep quiet and stop judging everybody else.

Your experimental vaccine will be ready soon enough

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If people cannot be trusted to obey basic instructions like "stay at home" and "avoid crowds", I don't think you can blame the government if it decides to introduce new laws to ensure it happens

I can and do blame the government. If they had consistent messaging perhaps people would be a little less complacent. But how can you, with a straight face, tell people to "stay at home" and "avoid crowds" while at the same time heavily subsidizing travel and eating out with go to travel and go to eat?? Oh and it's perfectly fine to cram on to busy trains to go to work in tiny cramped offices, but the rest of the time, don't go near anyone! And now the government wants to blame to people for not being compliant. Scumbags.

We don't need new laws. We need a compent an uncorrupt government.

3 ( +4 / -1 )


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Totally mad.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

stay home, keep the fresh air flowing inside, use a humidifier.

shift a timetable for shrine/temple visit.

visit local shrine/temple in the neighborhood instead of outreaching a renown or popular place.

Aside from the virus concern, homage to the local guardian god/deity is considered important and meaningful (but the tradition is getting obsolete as more people skip the local to visit somewhere bigger and more famous.... such a behavior can form big crowds vulnerable to a spike).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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