Hatsumode

HATSUMODE

Here’s a program from our archives.

For centuries, during the first three days of the New Year, people in Japan travel to shrines and temples to celebrate Hatsumode, the traditional first visit of the year. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

ambience: Hatsumode ambience

We’re listening to the sounds of a Shinto shrine in Tokyo during the annual observance of Hatsumode.

Murabayashi: In Shinto Shrine, when you pray, you clap your hands twice, and then pray. You put your hands in front of your face and pray silently to the Shinto god.

Hirofumi Murabayashi is with the Japanese Consulate in New York.

Murabayashi: In Japan, in general, people tend to give importance to the first thing of anything. So, the first days of the year is considered to be very important for the coming year. We have a proverb saying: “New Year’s Day is the day to make one’s plans for the year.” As that proverb suggests, people tend to wrap up the old year, and refresh themselves for the New Year’s life.
We do not have any specific date or period when Hatsumode started, but I believe it started in the earlier times of the Japanese history, when at the beginning of every year, families paid respect to their ancestors. Also, they prayed for the good harvest of the coming year. That is the original form of Hatsumode, and it just developed to the present way of just visiting the temple or shrine. It became somewhat like a custom or part of life of a Japanese to celebrate New Year.

We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Hatsumode

Hatsumode is the ritual first visit of the year to a Japanese Shinto or Buddhist temple.
Air Date:01/12/2022
Scientist:
Transcript:

HATSUMODE Here's a program from our archives. For centuries, during the first three days of the New Year, people in Japan travel to shrines and temples to celebrate Hatsumode, the traditional first visit of the year. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History. ambience: Hatsumode ambience We're listening to the sounds of a Shinto shrine in Tokyo during the annual observance of Hatsumode. Murabayashi: In Shinto Shrine, when you pray, you clap your hands twice, and then pray. You put your hands in front of your face and pray silently to the Shinto god. Hirofumi Murabayashi is with the Japanese Consulate in New York. Murabayashi: In Japan, in general, people tend to give importance to the first thing of anything. So, the first days of the year is considered to be very important for the coming year. We have a proverb saying: "New Year's Day is the day to make one's plans for the year." As that proverb suggests, people tend to wrap up the old year, and refresh themselves for the New Year's life. We do not have any specific date or period when Hatsumode started, but I believe it started in the earlier times of the Japanese history, when at the beginning of every year, families paid respect to their ancestors. Also, they prayed for the good harvest of the coming year. That is the original form of Hatsumode, and it just developed to the present way of just visiting the temple or shrine. It became somewhat like a custom or part of life of a Japanese to celebrate New Year. We've been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.