What is Shuin?
There are items recommended to bring if you visit a shrine or temple more regularly. The item called Shuincho is made of Japanese paper. By taking this to the office in a shrine or temple when visiting, you can fill in the original stamp of the facility and the date of warship. This stamp is charming that it’s a great souvenir with memories. By going to various shrines and temples, some people use it as a stamp rally, and it has become popular with a wide range of people. Additionally, you can choose your favorite one because there are various designs of this notebook sold in temples and bookstores. Here, it introduces the origin of the Shuin, its meaning, and the procedure for receiving it.
Origin of the Shuin
The Shuin was initially given as a proof when practitioners supply a copy of a sutra to a temple or shrine, but since it was inconvenient to carry a large amount of replication, a part of it is now dedicated. In the present, instead of paying for the sutras, it’s changed to receive a stamp proving that we worshiped at a shrine or temple. In fact, some temples and shrines still allow you to supply the sutras as practitioners did in the old days. However, it depends on the denomination and the styles, so it is a little complicated.
Meaning of receiving Shuin
As explained earlier, the reason for receiving Shuin in the present has a definite meaning as proof of worship at shrines and temples and is different from the origin. Therefore, the original purpose is worship, and getting Shuin is not the first priority for visiting shrines or temples. Some people into religion believe, “Shuin shouldn’t be treated as a collection, it should be treated more politely.” But in reality, it is treated as a collection for many people. It seems that even some shrines and temples are promoting Shuin as tourism resources. And it is said that the notebook filled with the stamps all pages are beneficial with various gods and are treated more carefully.
A notebook used to collect Shuin is called Shuincho, and a general notepad for Shuin is a bellows or a knot-binding that can contain about 40 sheets. The market price is about 1,000 to 2,000 JPY. Various books are sold, but some of them are not suitable for collecting stamps, so please be careful. The most recommended one is using Japanese paper with a bellows. This is recommended as it absorbs ink quickly, and it doesn’t require to hold it down until it dries.
It is difficult to hold a binding with a general type of a notebook with one hand, so it is not suitable for collecting Shuin. It is impossible to absorb the black ink with the regular paper used in the general notebook. And the notebook may get dirty, so it is appropriate to use the one with Japanese paper that absorbs the black ink.
Procedures to receive Shuin
Various ideas are depending on the shrines and temples, so there are no exact rules. As explained, there aren’t many specific orders, so it’s good to take it when it is convenient during your warship, depending on the size of the precincts and the crowd of offices. If visiting the temples and shrines during the tour, the tour guide may bring them to the reception desk, so it is necessary to confirm.
Temples and shrines without Shuin
There are no permanent workers in the small temples and shrines, so it may not be possible to receive Shuin at these places. Besides, even in massive venues, there are places where Shuin is not applied due to their own policies.