Made with love and hope

The Yomiuri Shimbun

A large shimenawa straw rope is hung at the gate of Motsuji temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, on Wednesday to welcome people who will make their first prayers of 2023. The sacred rope is about 6 meters long, 45 centimeters in diameter at its thickest point, and weighs about 50 kilograms. This and other ropes were made by local farmers and other people, and donated to Motsuji and 12 other temples and shrines in Hiraizumi and nearby Oshu. “The ropes are made in the hope of a bountiful harvest, world peace and the end of the pandemic,” the 72-year-old district chief said. The temple is expected to receive about 50,000 worshippers during the first three days of January.