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August 2020 Update from the Coordinators for International Relations ・ 国際交流員日記8月2020年

印刷ページ表示 更新日:2020年9月25日更新

Tata For Now ・ またね


After three years as a CIR in Date City, I’ll be returning to America with a bagful of souvenirs soon. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to live here and experience as much as I did. I’ve been to festivals and parades, I climbed mountains, and I’ve eaten more fruit in three years than I thought possible. If I could, I’d put a few boxes of Date City’s peaches, grapes, apples, and persimmons in my luggage to carry home, but they would spoil, so I won’t.

Thank you to everyone who was patient with me as I stumbled along with my Japanese. I will keep studying Japanese and come back to visit. So I hope you will all keep practicing English too! I’ll be cheering for you!

(作成者:シャネン Posted by: Shannen)

 Nagaoka Kinshūji ・ 長岡金秀寺

Just after the end of the busy Obon season, Shannen and I visited a Sōtō Zen Buddhist Temple in the center of Date Town.


The temple is located adjacent to a pedestrian bridge that is used every day by many people commuting to school and work.


The Temple Beside the Pedestrian Bridge ・ 歩道橋の隣のお寺

It was while commuting back from work that I first saw the English translations of Buddhist teachings posted on the temple’s bulletin board.


Bilingual Buddhism ・ 二ヶ国語の仏教

We were kindly given a tour by the temple priest.


I was surprised by how elaboraTely the temple’s interior is decorated.


Interior Brilliance ・ 華やかなインテリア

Hanging from the ceiling are multiple golden chandelier-like items, known as higasa, or parasols.


A Glorious Golden Umbrella ・ 輝かしい黄金の傘

All of the golden items are actually made of wood.


A Golden Bell? ・ 金色の鐘か  A Gilded Lantern ・ 金ぴかの献灯  A Golden Waterfall ・ 黄金の滝

The liturgical tools used by the priest are not gold, but are just as ornate.


The Tools of Buddhism ・ 仏教の道具

The priest pointed out that heart shapes can be found at many places in the temple.


Yet, he told us that they actually depict a wild boar’s eye, a shape used to deter evil spirits.


A Heart that Deters Evil ・ 悪を払うハート

The priest also showed us the inner sanctuary of the temple, where there is an altar complete with statues of the temple’s founder as well as Sōtō Zen patriarchs Dōgen and Keizan.


The Men in the Back Room ・ 奥の部屋の方

Finally, the priest attempted to teach me how to sit for zazen.


As you can see, he is much more flexible than I am.


The Patient Buddhist Priest ・ 忍耐のあるお坊さん

When we stepped outside to leave, he showed us one of the gravestones on the temple grounds.


It is the grave of various important figures from a former area temple known as Gokuraku-in.


If you look carefully, you can see the name of a Date clan member.


Can you find a Date? ・ 伊達家の一人が見つけられますか?

Thanks to the kindness of the temple priest, we were able to learn many interesting things about this temple in Date Town.


Not Kanji, but Sanskrit ・ 漢字じゃなくて梵字

(Posted by: Tony ・ 作成者:トニー)

Ryōzen Shrine・霊山神社


Ryōzen Shrine in Date City’s town of Ryōzen is memorable for its elegant red roof and the incredibly steep set of stairs. Founded in 1881 as part of the Kenmu Restoration (see the imperial seal imbedded in the roof), the shrine is host to a number of events throughout the year, most notable being a springtime festival during which boys from the town climb the shrine steps and perform a sword dance.

霊山神社 階段

We also climbed the stairs when we visited the shrine last week.

The climb is difficult but also fun and relatively short. At the top you can take a photo as Kitabatake Akiie, a samurai who supported Emperor Go-Daigo’s Southern Court during the Nanboku-chō Period.


Visitors can also purchase omikuji and other items, including goshuin.

おみくじ ごしゅいんちょう

Of course, there is another path up the mountain which is compleTely paved and accessible to cars. This path begins at a parking lot featuring a statue of Kitabatake Akiie (the entrance to the staircase is a bit further up the road). There are two more parking lots along this path as well as a bathroom at the very top. If you do decide to visit this summer, make sure to stay hydrated and be careful of overheating!

駐車場 駐車場

トイレ 他の道

(Posted by: Shannen ・ 作成者:シャネン)

Date City Premium Merchandise Vouchers ・伊達市プレミアム付商品券

As a countermeasure to the economic effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Date City is supporting businesses through the sale of subsidized merchandise vouchers.


Date City residents have received envelopes containing a blue document and an explanatory flyer.


The Envelope and Its Contents ・ 封筒と内容

The blue document can be brought to one of many voucher sale sites and used to purchase the merchandise vouchers.


Vouchers worth 7000 yen can be purchased for a mere 5000 yen.


In essence, there is 2000 yen in additional value.


One set of fourteen vouchers consists of eight 500 yen vouchers for use at small businesses, and six 500 yen vouchers that can be used at all participating businesses.


Got My Vouchers ・ 商品県を貰いました

These merchandise vouchers are useable at a large number of businesses in Date City.


So Many Businesses! ・ 店が多いです!

There are some restrictions on their use.


(For example, you cannot use them to buy tobacco products, postage stamps, or gift cards; nor can you use them to pay utility bills or taxes.)


Additionally, the merchandise vouchers will expire on November 30th of this year.


Importantly, the merchandise vouchers are available for sale only until Monday, August 10th!


Don’t pass up on this opportunity!


Let’s Use These ・ これを利用しましょう

(Posted by: Tony ・ 作成者:トニー)

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