New year in Japan, the time to welcome all the deities !

Hello, everybody! How are you?

Only 10 days are left in 2021! People are busy to prepare for new year. The hand-made new year decorations are sold at Michi no Eki Aso as well.
Does it look like Christmas wreath???

We put this decoration at the entrance door basically. Not inside the house.
Why…?

Well, let’s see.

I went to Shimenawa spotting 😀 this morning.

This is from Kukuzo shrine.



Kazamiya shrine near Kokuzo shrine.


Aso shrine. This one is huge!

Look at this one. Aso shrine is the head shrine of Aso, so it is no wonder that their Shimenawa is largest. Total length is 7.5m (24.6ft),the thickest part is 1.6m (5.25ft)around, and the weight is……150kg (330lb)!!! One sumo wrestler… 😀

They are made from rice straw from Aso, they renew them before new year come, always around this time of the year. These are all handmade. It is such an amazing artwork, and also a lot of work to put this heavy thing up!

Well then, what is Shimenawa? What is that for??

Shimenawa is the border. The other side of Shimenawa is sacred area, or sacred thing.

Yamura shrine,next of Aso shrine.

Old long-life tree is always something special at Shintoism.

Let’s get back to the new year decoration.
New year is the time all the deities visit our house.
The decoration is shimenawa also as the sign to welcome those deities,to show them that our house is purified.

“Our house is ready to welcome you! “

Maybe, it is similar to the boughs of holly?!

All the shrine I introduced today is connected by the myth of Takeiwatatsu no Mikoto who drained the water from Aso caldera.

If you have a chance to visit Aso, I will recommend to visit them all.

All the shrines are on one line, and the line is connected to the Nakadake crater!!  Isn’t it cool?! 😀

Happy holidays!

 

Kana

 

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