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The First New Year of Reiwa

This new year was the first new year of the Reiwa era. Although this year is Reiwa 2, Reiwa 1 started on May 1st last year, and so it did not have a New Year’s Day. Jinja Shinpō has, as normal, published a report on how things went. In general, the weather was good across most of the country, which will have been a big relief to the jinja that rely on hatsumōdë income to keep going through the year. Meiji Jingū, in Tokyo, which typically has the highest number… Read More »The First New Year of Reiwa

This Year’s Hatsumōdë

The most recent issue of Jinja Shinpō included a long article on hatsumōdë, and how it went at various jinja. This is a standard feature at this time of year. In the past, it focused on the larger jinja, but recently it has spent more time on jinja in regions that have suffered natural disasters recently, and on jinja that have some particular link to the year. This year, the first three days of the New Year saw good weather across Japan, so there were a lot of people. Jingū,… Read More »This Year’s Hatsumōdë


Hatsumōdë is the first visit to a jinja (or Buddhist temple, but normally jinja) of the New Year. In one use, it simply refers to a person’s first visit in a year, no matter when it happens. The most common use these days, however, is to refer to the custom of visiting a jinja in the first three days of the New Year (or maybe a few days later if you are away). This is an extremely popular custom; the estimates I have seen are that about 80% of Japanese… Read More »Hatsumōdë