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State Rites

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Shinnen enkai

  The official "New Year's Banquet" which, before World War II, took place on palace grounds on January 5 to which the emperor invites the imperial family, high-level government officials, ambassadors, and others. Besides the imperial family, those assembled at the banquet include individ...


  Accession to the imperial throne. One of several ceremonies in the investment of a new emperor. Originally read as "ama-tsu-hi-tsugi shiroshimesu," accession was synonymous with the senso ritual. However, since the reign of Emperor Kanmu, the senso ritual (in which the new emperor inher...

Tenchō setsu

"Day of Celebration for the Longevity of Heaven and Earth." The old name for the emperors birthday deriving from a similar observance in Tang China. It was a religious holiday from the early Meiji era to just after World War II. The ceremony performed at the Three Sacred Halls (kyūchū s...


  One of the rituals from the ancient and medieval eras appearing in the Divinities Prescriptions (JingiryŌ). Carried out twice a year on the eleventh day of the sixth and twelfth lunar months. Attended by the ministers and lesser officials, the various hafuribe (official shrines l...

Yaso-shima no matsuri

"Festival of Yaso Island." A celebration from the ancient to medieval periods occurring once per generation, generally in the year following the Daijō sai celebrated with the accession of a new emperor (sokui). Imperial messengers known as chokushi (the Yaso Island Festival Representative and ...

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