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Japan's New Year rituals fall victim to virus surge

30 Comments
By Kazuhiro NOGI

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© 2020 AFP

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30 Comments
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Lots of people see Covid as their living hell, what problem you already had, Covid made it worst, Covid will not go away magically, their are worst thing to come in 2021,and beyond

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

@Yrral, you must be fun at parties!

These “ancient” “rituals” (based on the Roman calendar which japan didn’t even start using until.. no I’ll stop), are just a money raking scam. It’s good for people’s wallets that they’re cancelled at least.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

 It’s good for people’s wallets that they’re cancelled at least.

Yeah, this is true, but Suga wont be happy, because the economy typically gets a boost around the end of the year, and the beginning of the New Year.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

These “ancient” “rituals” (based on the Roman calendar which japan didn’t even start using until.. no I’ll stop),

Actually the Japanese only started using the Gregorian calendar at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, so around the 1870's or so.

And the rituals, while the timing may have been different, are ancient, as people did visit their local shrines around the new year.

With the introduction of the rail system here, people started travelling to the more famous one's, and continue to do so today.

So it is a fact that the "rituals" are ancient.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

What about that other shrine, not naming names of course.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Worship at home rather than a shrine this year. Its safer.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

These “ancient” “rituals” (based on the Roman calendar which japan didn’t even start using until.. no I’ll stop), are just a money raking scam. It’s good for people’s wallets that they’re cancelled at least.

Lots of it is indeed a money racket....the prices shrines charge for all the trinkets they sell over New Year are insane.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

The animist beliefs of Shinto might be ancient but the shrines that are dotted all over Japan with their boxes full of 5 yen coins are not.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Complete stop of Hatsumode would be better than the new state of emergency, for both economy and our health.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

1873, was when the Gregorian calendar was introduced to Japan, just in case you are thinking it was at the end of WW2 It wasn't.

I don't get what your issue is people enjoy the experience of the New Year It is like the way we celebrate Christmas try going to a church anywhere without offering a donation and don't forget to visit the Gift shop and it is only $2 to light a candle.

Yes I agree it is a money racket same as all religions designed to loosen your purse strings in the name of staying out of Hell or Purgatory.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Say a big thank you to China for making this a memorable year.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

stay at home and enjoy "entertaining" japanese tv programs with Matsumoto and Hamada :)

better for health.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

MatejToday  10:14 am JST

stay at home and enjoy "entertaining" japanese tv programs with Matsumoto and Hamada :) 

better for health.

Lol! There are few things I'd like to say about Japanese New Year TV, but the post would get deleted. Might go for a nice hike in the hills instead.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

take a year off, stay safe. can go in 2022.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This is a good move from Meiji Jingu and other shrines should follow their lead. We all know what happened when people were told to not go to hanami at Ueno Park. The desire to go to hatsumode will be even stronger than hanami.

I bet someone somewhere is scrambling to create an online way of doing the o-mikuji fortune telling. The shrines can't miss out on all of those 100 yens. It's 300 yen at some places.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Marcelito said

Lots of it is indeed a money racket....the prices shrines charge for all the trinkets they sell over New Year are insane.

It works the same all over the world... Churches, shrines, temples, etc. There's no need to call out Japan on this.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Well if their is a toll gate at the entrance to paradise, guess I was wrong.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Kyoto's Yasaka Shrine, which earlier this year replaced a rope for bell-ringing with an electronic system that visitors activate by passing their hand over a sensor, producing a recorded bell sound.

Ugh

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Our booked trip just sent us a notice telling us if we want to cancel it is at no cost to us, but if we still want to go, it is another ¥40,000 or so, and we do not get the ¥20,000 in coupons.

We are going. Just confirmed.

We will practice the three C game for sure.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No biggy

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Typical AFP droll. The "rituals" and "traditions" have been victim to modernization for the beginning of time.

One ritual falls and a newer replaces it. A tradition become irrelevant and a new one takes its place. Don't blame C-virus for this, it just the passing of time.

"One constant controls us, change is the constant." Carl Sagan

6 ( +6 / -0 )

stay at home and enjoy "entertaining" japanese tv programs with Matsumoto and Hamada :)

better for health."

Thanks buddy, but Japanese TV " entertainment " would definately be detrimental to my health :)

the prices shrines charge for all the trinkets they sell over New Year are insane.

It works the same all over the world... Churches, shrines, temples, etc. There's no need to call out Japan on this."

No argument there...but since this is an article about J-shrines on a JT site..

7 ( +7 / -0 )

no problem cramming people into trains though..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Pretty easy to solve this problem. Set up live cams at the shrines and allow people access via websites or Zoom -- you know, if it's ACTUALLY about culture and all that. A prayer for spirits can happen anywhere, since you're not praying for a tangible object. Donations can be made without a physical presence, too. If it's ultimately about the shrines/temples making money, let them charge a small fee for joining the event online and holding a midnight ritual; a bet a heck of a lot more people would "attend" than on a normal year WITHOUT coronavirus. Nothing at all is being, nor needs to be lost here. Every single thing they can do there can be done at home, save physically being there, which people are not prevented from doing to begin with. This "woe-is-me" garbage has got to stop -- there are far more pressing matters, like the inevitable collapse of the health care system because of pressure to keep people going out and spending money on silly campaigns and "ancient rituals".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Each temple could set up a YuleLog thing like channel 3 in NY CIty does. Put a link to donate if you feel you need to give money to the shrine Kanri who does not pay taxes by the way.

I do love the buildings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

MatejToday  10:14 am JST

stay at home and enjoy "entertaining" japanese tv programs with Matsumoto and Hamada :)

better for health.

I would rather self-immolate than sit through that pile of cack.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@smithinjapan I AGREE *Pretty easy to solve this problem. Set up live cams at the shrines and allow people access via websites or Zoom -- you know, if it's ACTUALLY about culture and all that. *Create an APP that can take you or zoom you to the shrine where you can pull the rope to toll the bell flip your yen in by the touch of a button after using bank card clap and depart in peace.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth; They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.”

— James Russell Lowell

1 ( +1 / -0 )

GOOD action.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No ritual will wipe the virus, from it existence on earth, the virus has created hell on earth for some and will get even worse in 2021

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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