Preserve a piece of Japanese culture during Corona with your own mini shrine handwashing ladle

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Take yours ladle hishaku with you to purify yourself before entering a Shinto shrine.

Have you ever been to a shrine in Japan and noticed a small hut right at the entrance, where there is a water basin or a trickling fountain? This is called a chozuya, and it is there because of a centuries-old tradition of purify oneself before entering a sanctuary. Usually the ladle provided (called hishaku in Japanese) to draw water and rinse hands and mouth in order to purify oneself spiritually before praying at the altar.

Unfortunately, in the age of the crown, sharing a ladle with all the other visitors is not really hygienic, so this is a custom that is in danger of disappearing or being replaced by something else as we continue to live during a pandemic. However, you can help preserve the custom by keeping your own portable ladle close at hand.

The My Hishaku is a travel version of the ladle usually supplied to the chozuya, and is actually the second version of the portable ladle supplied by Tomiya Honten, a 120-year-old manufacturer of ritual products. Although the first version was also portable, the new version is even smaller than the first, only 200 millimeters long (7.9 inches), 67 millimeters in diameter (2.6 inches) and 45 millimeters high (1.8 inches).

From top to bottom: an ordinary hishaku ladle, the My Hishaku model from last year, and the My Hishaku model from this year

It weighs only 45 grams (1.6 ounces) and it is easy to carry with the special cover made just for that. He has an extract that you can clip to your belt or bag for hands-free carrying, and the fabric is made of 100% cotton woven into a high density fabric, which is both water resistant and breathable, so you don’t have to worry about water leakage and moisture from your clothes or bag.

The bags also have a snap button to keep them closed and the ladle securely inside, and they come in three sophisticated colors: navy, khaki or camel.

The ladle is itself entirely made with Hinoki cypress harvested in the Tono region in Gifu prefecture, including the mug, which is unusual as the mug in other hishaku ladles is usually made of laminate. But you don’t have to worry about the wooden cup cracking or warping over time, because it has been treated with a special polymer coating to keep it waterproof, sturdy and safe from mold, bacteria and sun damage.

Tomiya Honten is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Makuake to sponsor the production of the second version of My Hishaku, and it has already raised its target of 250,000 yen (about US $ 2,300) more than four times. There are different levels of pledges and rewards, but if you sign up early, you could get both the ladle and a pocket for 7,040 yen, as opposed to the expected retail price of 8,000 yen. In our opinion, this is not a bad price to help maintain a centuries-old tradition!

Source: Public relations time Going through Japan
Images: Public relations time

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