Every hot summer in Japan, souls of the deceased are believed to come back to each home and are welcomed by the livings with courtesy.
After staying one week, they are sent out with bow and fire to heaven.
As my parents passed away several years ago, my wife and I went to their tombstone for clean up to welcome them, but my younger brother had already come there and offered the flowers to the deceased.
We laughed and said “we lost the competition”
Of course, it was a joke.
We were very glad that my family still remembered our parents well and missed.
Similar to our parents, I have some nostalgic emotion to all deceased people in Japan.
I miss my grandparents, uncles, aunts, elder friends and friends even younger than me.
In order to console themselves with their memory, we sometimes go to Inner Ise Shrine.
It takes over two hour drive from our house.
We go there to see the Gate Bridge, Sanctuary simply to have a quiet mind for myself.
I pray for peace and wish to settle down the disaster caused by COVID-19.
Although I am not a Shintoist, the Shrine makes my mind calm and quiet, and sometimes gives me certain power to start something new.
Someone calls the Shrine as ‘Power Spot’.
Probably some people feel that it gives spiritual power to one’s mind.
Staying almost one hour in the Shrine to walk and pray, we dropped in “Okage Street” where we could see many souvenir shops and restaurants.
We had light lunch and bought “Akafuku” rice cake as souvenir for ourselves.
After one week for the season of the deceased, I cleaned up the tombstone and said goodbye
to my parents until next summer.