TOKYO – Males carrying conventional loincloths and ladies wearing white robes clapped and chanted earlier than going into an ice water bathtub throughout a Shinto ritual at a Tokyo shrine on Sunday to purify the soul and pray for the tip of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Solely a dozen individuals took half within the annual occasion at Teppou-zu Inari Shrine, scaled-down this 12 months as a result of well being disaster, in comparison with over 100 in early 2020. Spectators weren’t allowed on the occasion.
After doing warming-up workouts and chanting underneath a transparent sky with exterior temperatures at 41.18 Fahrenheit, the 9 male and three feminine contributors went into a shower crammed with chilly water and enormous ice blocks. “I prayed that the coronavirus involves an finish as quickly as attainable,” stated 65-year-old participant Shinji Ooi, who heads the Shrine’s ‘Yayoikai’ parishioner group, after the ritual.
Japan has struggled to comprise a latest surge in coronavirus infections, with Tokyo reporting 1,494 new instances on Sunday. The federal government declared a restricted state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures on Thursday, protecting about 30% of the nation’s inhabitants, in a bid to stem the unfold.
Fewer contributors on the Shinto ritual made the water further chilly, participant Naoaki Yamaguchi informed Reuters.
“Usually we now have extra contributors and it makes the water temperature somewhat bit hotter. However this 12 months, there have been simply twelve individuals, so it (the chilly) was loopy,” the 47-year-old stated.
The shrine added the theme of “fending off epidemics” to the annual occasion, which is held on the second Sunday of every 12 months and is now in its 66th 12 months.