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Safe Purification

I have mentioned that, during the pandemic, a lot of jinja have removed the ladles from their purification fonts, and typically drained the water from the font, to avoid the risk of infection from people using ladles that other people have used. Some jinja have set up alternative arrangements, so that people can rinse their hands without touching anything. Most of these have been at larger jinja, but not all.

A few days ago, when I was visiting my local jinja (Shirahata Hachiman Daijin), one of the priests called to me to ask if I had used the water. It took a moment for me to work out what she meant, because the purification font there has been out of action for months, and I couldn’t see very well because my mask had steamed up my glasses. But it turned out that the jinja had installed a hand-rinsing system.
The purification font, with a system of bamboo pipes set on top of it. Water flows out past the front of the font.
This was apparently put together by someone from another local jinja, who is a plumber, and so I assume that there are some other jinja in the area that have them. The use of bamboo means that it strikes me, at least, as fitting in with the jinja aesthetic quite well. (If you go round the back, you can see the valves and plastic pipes connecting the bamboo pipes to the tap, but the design does a good job of hiding that from the front.)

Unfortunately, it looks as though the jinja is likely to get good use out of this. We can hope that it will become unnecessary before the bamboo needs to be replaced, though.

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