March 25, 2011

Prayers Since Ancient Times・・・・・

Shinto is indigenous religion of Japan and based on nature worship. It is said that there are eight million Shinto deities. They are everywhere, residing in the sun, the moon, mountains, rivers, rocks, waterfalls, trees and more.   Shinto deities are almost synonym of Nature.

Japan has been blessed with abundant harvest from the earth and sea, but at the same time Japan has suffered from many earthquakes and Tsunami.

Since ancient times, people have been thankful to nature and  continued to pray to the deities for happiness, peace, no disease, good weather and good harvest.   Now, I realize the most important prayer among them is good weather which also means no natural disasters. How powerless we are in front of  Mother Nature! So many lives were lost because of the earthquakes and Tsunami on March 11th. Our happiness, peace, no disease or good harvest - everything seems to be based on good weather.

These are sincere and quiet prayers offered to Shinto deities,  and I pray for the souls of the dead and the people in suffering. No more earthquakes, no more Tsunami, no more nuclear plant threat, no more hysteria following them.

Shinto priests pray and float white paper dolls down a river to wash away bad luck.
Torments or sufferngs, go away!.

Worshippers  pray to the deity.

Various dances dating back to the ancient times  are offered
 to the deity or deities with prayers.
This is a rehearsal. 

Miko, a shrine maiden,  quietly performs the sacred Shinto dance.

Boiling Water Ritual for purification.

Two weeks passed since March 11th.  TV news showed in a shelter  children speaking to  elderly people, and giving massage to them with beautiful smiles . The elderly people also smiled to the children. When I saw this scene, I felt this is the first  light of the hope for recovery and could believe that Japan will rise again.

A number of warm messages from the world have been arriving here in Japan through internet or social networks. This is "Pray for Japan (Your message is translated into Japanese)" of facebook, whose site is attached at the top of my sidebar. Messages sent from the world are translated from English into Japanese by volunteers so that the people can read them.  I am one of the volunteers and wish I had more time as the words have strong power. While translating them, I am moved to tears sometimes.

I thank all of you and the world for thinking Japan and praying for us.


  1. This is such a beautiful post...I can't take my eyes off the photos. Thank you for the education along with your beautiful photography...Japan is a very special place on this planet. Thank you, Snowflake...

  2. I am go by "Snow White." I used the wrong name of "Snow Flake."

  3. You have such beautiful photos and give a loving and moving description of your country. I continue to think of and pray for your country like many others are doing. I'm sorry I can't leave a prayer at Facebook as I do not have an account there. But I am glad the prayers left there can help to life and encourage the spirits of the Japanese people. Blessings and hugs. xx

  4. Peace 4 Libyan From American Army..
    From Malaysia

  5. I am moved to tears by your post. Japan continues to stay in my daily thoughts. I look for signs of hope - the lovely rituals and dances that you photographed indicate to me that life goes on. That in itself means hope.

  6. Thank you for posting this blog with impressive pictures as always. I feel a quiet sincere earnest prayer and hope from these pictures of rituals indigenous to Japan.

    You are doing what you can do now. That is encouraging me as well.

  7. Thank you Snowwhite,for these beautiful photographs and this window to your ceremonies and culture.

    All best wishes!

  8. «Louis» appreciates seeing these beautiful photos. Mme la Vache lived in Japan for 15 years. Her son is still there. Her mother lives in Tokyo and her brother in Nagoya.

  9. It is an impressive post that shows your wish and hope through prayers by Shinto. These scenes calmly and warmly soak into my heart. Thank you.

  10. Yes, "torments & suffering, go away." I like the idea of washing the bad luck down the river. My wishes for healing go out to your country & it's people.

  11. Very moving post. You created a very serene mood in your images. I am new at your blog. I came from the Calligraphy in the Landscape blog.

  12. They are splendid Japanese manners and customs.
    I want to watch the religious service sometime.

  13. I wept this morning when I heard on TV about a young lady who contineued a warning announce for people of that town when tunami came. She was in her twenties and she did not flee to announce. She was killed. But many people' life were saved.People run hearing her warning.

    You are doing what you can do. It's great. What can I do,I wonder?

  14. Wow those pictures are really awesome ! I have a big crush for the sixth one : it is so beautiful... I hope all those prayers will help a little bit though.


Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and leaving warm messages. I will visit your site soon. keiko