From this article on there will be contributions for the Japanese learning community.
According to my experiences the most effective way to learn and improve your language skills is to use practical and contextual topics in both oral and written situations.
When it comes to written material the dedicated japanese learner is surrounded with a multitude of written boards, plates, signposts, commercials e.t.c.
Happily one expression or Kanji is recognized, but mostly time and schedule doesn’t allow to decipher a somewhat longer text line.
Yet, why not take 5 or 10 minutes trying to come closer to a japanese text.
Armed with a smartphone app, a pocket dictionary and the courage to ask a native speaker can be a rewarding challenge and can be fun as well.
I am convinced this way the learning outcome will turn out more profitable than learning vocabulary in an isolated manner.
Today I chose an instruction table I saw inside a Shinto shrine instructing the visitor step by step with easy sentences and illustrations how to perform a symbolic cleansing called TEMIZU 手水.This purification is considered indispensable before visiting the sacred area and signifies the removal of evil and pollution. Every shrine provides an area in form of a pavilion called temizuya or hōzuya 手水舎 for the ritual.
In the following text I underlined the Kanjis and wrote the whole sentence in Hiragana.
Please, note well, temizu instructions vary between shrines.
The photos were taken at Asakusa Shrine浅草神社 Asakusa-jinja in September 2012
Water and Washing of Hands Method （Purification before praying to the deities）
When worshipping the deities
let us clean heart and body
1. First pour water on the left hand using a dipper
2. next, pour water on the right hand
- collect water on your left hand and rinse your mouth.Hide it with your hand when you let the water out. (remark: quietly spit the water out into your cupped left hand, not in the reservoir)
4. Wash the left hand which was held on the mouth once more.
5.At last, cleanse the dipper handle with the leftover water.
この作法では つぎの人が気持ちよく 手水を取れるように心づかいが大切です
このさほうでは つぎのひとがきもちよく てみずをとれるように こころづかいがいせつです
In this etiquette It is important being thoughtful in a manner that the next person will feel comfortable while performing the purification