The timing was purely serendipitous; it was exactly one year after we moved to Hokkaido that we were having the land blessing / ground breaking ceremony in preparation for the building of our home here in Date. When we first decided to come to Hokkaido, our plan was to give ourselves one year to see if this is the place for us to raise a family. Within 3 months, we were ready to say a resounding “Yes” to life here; and the decision to build a house here quickly followed.
The ceremony we had today was not so much religious as it was folk tradition. The idea was to pay respect to the spirits of nature as we prepare to make our home on this land. A priest from the local shrine was invited to host our ceremony. Food offerings such as fish, seasonal vegetable, rice and wine were placed on an alter. Then the priest proceed to say the prayer in what can best be described as a robotic voice. Have a look at the clip.
Having completed the symbolic groundbreaking today, the actual groundbreaking is in a week. I wonder what sorts robots will we see then.