God Bless My Computer!

From Bill Gates to the Pearly Gates...From Bill Gates to the Pearly Gates...
Antivirus software may cure most cranky computers but that's not enough for a growing number of Japanese techies whose mantra is "in God we trust".

They also take their PCs and laptops to the Kanda-Myojin shrine in Tokyo, where the blessings of a Shinto priest bestow divine protection against malware, hard drive failures and the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

Strange as it may seem, this curious ritual perfectly illustrates the often bizarre mix of past and present that characterizes modern Japan's culture and society.

My blog - holier than thou?My blog - holier than thou?

The Kanda-Myojin Shinto shrine looks like most other Japanese shrines and temples with its ornate detailing in the Far Eastern mode. One small feature stands out, however - among the talismanic charms presented to worshipers (in return for a small donation) is a curious plaque designed to emulate a microchip.

The resemblance is no coincidence: priests at the centuries-old shrine are often called upon to perform purification rituals on computers, other electronic devices and even new blogs!

Assorted talismans available at the Kanda-Myojin shrineAssorted talismans available at the Kanda-Myojin shrine
It's also no coincidence that the Kanda-Myojin shrine is situated just a short walk from Tokyo's electronic paradise and geek mecca, Akihabara.

As local IT professionals and "otaku" began to frequent the shrine, word spread that cleansing ceremonies and protective talismans were on offer for not just computer owners but their hardware as well. Best of all, Kanda-Myojin treats all models equally whomever their Maker may be. (via IOL, additional images via Silicon Valley Watcher)