The ceremony has started at a bridge. I don't think it was the routine style of the ceremony in Shinto. Since a river was running in front of the shrine, they might have invented that ceremony. I know there is no systematic dogma in this religion. In Shinto, everything in the nature could be their gods. Anyway, the couple went over the bridge named Shinkyou, that is, God's bridge after Shinto priest, where we followed them. There were a number of tourists looking at us from the street along the river.
They have showed up on a traditional rickshaw. Being produced this way, it was a real show. The couple was taken for photo and the tourists were clapping hands to them. Of course, they must intended to celebrate this couple but I could not help feeling they were looking at them with the eyes toward some kind of rare show on the street.
Smiling at the attendees, they walked to the bridge.
They started crossing it. Moments to take photo were prepared everywhere.
The bridge. It may not be too old. The rock and trees on the riverside look old and engender the religious atmosphere.
The river flowing under the bridge, named Ohya river. A few kilometers upstream, there is a hospital where I used to work as a part time when I was a resident. Staying there over night as an ER doctor, I ran back to the hospital of med school early in the morning. In mid winter, the road was frozen and very slippery. The memory of those days have come up in my mind.
The shrine was pretty old. There is a tomb of the shogun in Edo era beside this shrine and has been closely related with it.
The entrance road to the main building of the shrine from the street. The cedar trees along it must be a few hundred years old.
The wedding ceremony in the shrine. A few ceremonies in stereotype. The priest has decreed some message as if he had sung it. Nothing understandable to me. I wondered if anyone could understand it. It was an extreme formalism. It may make us feel we are "blessed" with something good to us by this formalism. I could hardly believe it was a real religion. It is not my intention to criticize Shinto. But in the end, the priest has greeted us with understandable modern Japanese and has advertised us how profitable it is to worship this shrine. Only profits in this world.
The wedding party was held at a restaurant next to the shrine. A really enjoyable party. The friends of them have made good speeches for them. The couple have stated their thanks to their parents recalling the past with photos on the slides. I have told in the speech what I have learned from her. Enjoying music together as typically expressed in the breathing Einsatz in the beginning of tunes. She always gave us a sign of starting music with deep inspiration. It sounded like saying let's sing together and let's enjoy our lives together. It was not only a sign but a philosophy of attitude toward music as well as life. For the past 15 years, she has been kind enough to make my life pleasant with a number of chances of ensemble. I know how much effort she has made for music. i could not help respecting her as a musician and as a human being as well. My mind was full of thanks to her. Her husband is a honest and pleasant guy I am sure they will build a happy and open minded family toward the others. They have played a duo of menuet by Beethoven. A great couple duo!
I have played the Swan by Saint Saens. Her sister, another violinist, has thumbed up when I finished it and went to the stage side. But I don't know how well I have done and how the people has enjoyed it. Maybe, they have had too much alcohol to listen to me haha.
Before getting dark, even though the party was not over, I headed back to my home. It took me almost a couple of hours. Boy, I was lost on the way! I felt how old I had become again.
At night, this violinist friend has given me a mail of thanks. What a sweet girl! I felt as if I had had my own daughter married.