Stall with young priestesses selling charms
Ever since I was co-CEO of Digital Garage, I participated in a common practice in Japan which involves going to the local shrine, paying them for a ritual blessing and receiving a variety of charms for protection and good businesses which you display in your office. After the ritual, our tradition was to go to the office and slam full glasses of sake and say our New Year's resolutions. (And get wasted.) This year, our pragmatic chairman Jun moved that we don't do this anymore. We took a vote and decided not to pay the Gods. Having said that, the only official way to dispose of the charms from last year is to return them to the Shrine to have them ritually burned. So I gave a little money, took a sip of the ritual sake with my small team of charm returners (again, scenes from The Lord of the Rings come to mind...) So, we'll see what happens to our business this year without "protection."

3 Comments

interesting.. I still have a "kumade" (spelling?) for my online company JapanInYourPalm.com.. This is the ritual "rake that brings in the money" colorful wooden piece I got from a shrine a few years back in Hiroshima. I guess I didn't turn it in as I should have a few years ago. It hasn't landed my Japan Palm company riches, but has gotten me a few great jobs in the Silicon Valley and it's a nice decoration next to my pc. I guess it helped for something (^o^)

Hey Al - Don't you go to Soko Gakuen? I thought I saw you talking to Dr. Shimazu about japaninyourpalm, once.

Would you happen to know of any freely available web services that provide train schedules and the like?

Anyhow, I've said a prayer for Neoteny anyway. Just in case.

A slight correction. I did not object to the New Year's ritual. I am actually a very ritually oriented person (just sacrificed a goat the other day and threw four black cats down a well).

I did object to paying the Japanese Gods, since, as far as I can tell, the Japanese Gods are no good at all. (If they were, the Nikkei would not be hovering around 8,000.) I would rather pray to some less-expensive Gods (Don Imus, a morning shock-jock in NY has the Reverend Billy-Saul Hargis of the Discount House of Worship, for example), or free Gods (just pray at home), or Gods that seem to get you the stuff you want (whoever George Bush seems to pray to. . .).

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