Japanese shrines to offer New Year’s rituals
Thousands take part in the Shinto rites of cleansing and blessing
New Year rituals and blessings at two Honolulu Shinto shrines are expected to draw thousands of people next weekend.
It is an ancient New Year custom in Japan to acquire amulets called "omamori" to invoke good luck for the coming year, said the Rev. Akihiro Okada, of Daijingu Temple of Hawaii in Nuuanu. Some are specific, for such things as prosperity in business, personal protection and harmony in families.
People also come to the temple to get small wooden tablets called "oharaisama" for household shrines, on which individuals write their wishes.
The services and sale of the good-luck tokens are open to the public as well as followers of Shintoism, an indigenous religion of Japan that is more than 2,200 years old:
» Daijingu Temple, at 61 Puiwa Road, will begin the O-oharai, purification ritual, at 10 p.m. next Saturday, followed by the 11 p.m. Jyoya Sai, year-end blessing, and Hatsumode, New Year's blessing, at midnight. The first blessing of the year will be held at 7 a.m. Jan. 1, and the temple will be open to sell amulets. Special performances of traditional Japanese music and dance will be presented at 2 p.m.
» The Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii, 215 N. Kukui St., will be open from midnight New Year's Eve through the afternoon of New Year's Day. Individual blessings will be offered through the weekend and the first week of January.
New "ofuda" and omamori amulets for 2006 will be available for a small donation.