Dazaifu Tenmangu is one of the most famous shrines in Fukuoka.
It enshrines Sugawara no Michizane who is regarded as a god of academics.
Today, we took a school trip to Dazaifu. We could feel spring in the air. Plum flowers (梅の花 Ume no Hana) were blooming, and we delighted in their beauty.
Do you know how to pray at a shrine? OK, let me explain a bit here.
When you first pass through the shrine gate, you have to wash your hands and mouth to purify yourselves. Every shrine has a special area called Chouzuya （手水舎） for this purification.
Now, it’s time to pray to God.
There is a certain protocol in praying at a shrine called “Ni rei, Ni hakushu, Ichi rei” (2 bows, 2 claps, and 1 bow). We have to follow these motions literally.
We prayed for a bright future for our students after graduation.
What did our students pray for? Successful academic career, health, family, or significant others?
In any case, we prayed in the proper, traditional manner today.
The Dazaifu God may indeed bless you!