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"International Residents in Kagawa Experience the 'Henro' Pilgrimage"

Learn Japanese from the News

Broadcast on December 26, 2022 Available until December 25, 2023

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News." In this program we learn Japanese and more about Japan from news stories presented in simple Japanese. Today's headline is "International Residents in Kagawa Experience the 'Henro' Pilgrimage" which was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on November 15, 2022. Keywords include「お参り(おまいり)omairi」"temple or shrine visit" and 「熱心に(ねっしんに)nesshin-ni」"intently or enthusiastically."



"International Residents in Kagawa Experience the 'Henro' Pilgrimage"

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News."
Join us as we learn Japanese and about the country through Japanese news stories.
Today's headline is…

香川県(かがわけん) 外国人(がいこくじん)がお寺(てら)を歩(ある)いて回(まわ)る「遍路(へんろ)」を経験(けいけん)した
"International Residents in Kagawa Experience the 'Henro' Pilgrimage"
This news story was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on November 15th.
Now let's go over some vocab words that will help us understand what's going on.
temple or shrine visit
bring down one's walking stick
intently or enthusiastically
Let's keep these words in mind as we listen.
A group of international residents and others got to experience the "Henro," a historical pilgrimage route in the Shikoku region that remains popular today.

Now let's take a closer look at some sentences from the story, starting with this one:
"In the "Henro," a pilgrimage of temples in Shikoku, participants visit 88 temples associated with a Buddhist monk named Kobo Daishi."
弘法大師(こうぼうだいし)is a legendary figure from the 8th and 9th century.
Historically, 遍路(へんろ)was undertaken by Buddhist pilgrims. But today it's common for people of all walks of life to visit some or all of the sacred sites along the pilgrimage route.
The phrase お寺(てら)にお参(まい)りする means "go to pray at a Buddhist temple." お参(まい)り comes from the word 参(まい)る, which is the humble form of the verb 行(い)く, or "to go."
参(まい)る was originally used to describe the act of visiting a person of very high social status. From there お参(まい)り came to refer to praying at a temple or shrine, as well as the custom of visiting the family grave to pay your respects and share life updates with your ancestors.
OK, let's move on to the following sentence.
"It is said when Kobo Daishi brought down his walking stick, water flowed forth. The participants listened intently to the explanation."
熱心(ねっしん)refers to doing something "eagerly" or "enthusiastically." In today's story the phrase 外国人(がいこくじん)が熱心(ねっしん)に説明(せつめい)を聞(き)いていました describes how the international residents who participated in the pilgrimage event listened intently to an explanation of the Kobo Daishi legend.
熱心(ねっしん)suggests eagerness and intense interest. So for example, 熱心(ねっしん)に仕事(しごと)をする means "work hard or diligently."
And that's all for today.
Having walked part of the Shikoku Pilgrimage myself, today's topic is something I'm personally very 熱心(ねっしん)about. It's a fantastic way to experience the region's charm and rich history.
Right, 遍路(へんろ)is a journey through one of Japan's spiritual heartlands. But don't just take our word for it—why not put it on your itinerary for your next trip?

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