“Have you ever tossed a coin or two into a fountain and made a wish? Did it come true?”
Yes, I have. Several times I guess. Into our own version of places associated with water in spiritual or worshiping sites. Where we are supposed to make offering of small coins and to make wishes. But I don’t actually remember making any serious wish at those fountains or ponds. I guess I did those small wishes just for fun when I was small. In cases of those places in Japan, many worshipers often place a coin at every small altar or a god’s image in the garden of the temple or shrine to ask help for their suffering or wish, showing their devotion the deity or commitment.
I’ve been kind of convinced from my really early age that making a wish is more like promising to myself or to gods to work hard to accomplish my goals and sometimes asking a small help from the gods as far as I will try really hard on it. Or, maybe it’s just me, but, even where we’re commonly supposed to make a wish, like in Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples, I tend to use those several seconds to clear any thoughts away from my mind or to just stay calm like in meditation. When we Japanese people visit a shrine or a temple, we offer small money or a few coins and put our hands together, and clap them in Shinto shrines, in front of the hall of worship or the altar. And that’s when many of us make a wish. Sometimes people make too many wishes with small coins, and my father and I often laughed saying the gods might think they are so greedy. 😀 I’m still kind of convinced gods would grant our wishes only when we are humble and working hard on our own.
I also remember when I was in elementary school, my friends and I often played after school in the grounds of the Shinto shrine which was located very near to the school. Back then we believed our wish would be granted if you managed to put a pebble on the top of the shrine’s stone Torii gate by throwing up. I don’t know where that conviction of us came from. But that was really fun to us. 😀
Torii gates in Japan