Off to Japan

In two days, I’ll be taking the long flight (actually flights) from Boston to Nagoya, Japan, where I will meet an assistant priest from the Tsubaki Grand Shrine, and then I’ll go spend two weeks at the shrine.

Why, you might ask? One answer is that I won a scholarship. Each year, the Unitarian Universalist Association oversees a scholarship program that sends one seminary student (who does not attend a UU seminary) to Japan. There are similar programs to send students from Meadville Lombard and Starr King, the two UU seminaries.

But what is Tsubaki Grand Shrine? It is a historic Shinto Shrine, and also a faith partner of the UUA, and a member of the International Association for Religious Freedom.

I’m excited. It’s a real honor to have this opportunity, and I fully expect this will be very different from anything I have ever done before. It’s my first visit to Asia, my first visit to a Shinto shrine, and my first time to go abroad by myself (sadly, I have to be away from my wife for two weeks).

I will do my best to blog while I’m in Japan, but my priority will be being present at the shrine and really participating in the experience. But I’ll make sure to take pictures. Wish me well in Japan.

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