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Shrine Rituals


Chūsai

One category of shrine rites, referring to ritual conducted on a middle or medium scale. From the Meiji period, such rites were specified by law, but since the war, they have been regulated by the Association of Shinto Shrines' Jinja saishi kitei. According to this work, chūsai include saitans...

Gyōji sahō

This is commonly used to refer to the ritual protocols of Jinja ceremonies but Gyōji sahō are the detailed regulations stipulating the performance of shrine rituals. Sahō refers to the manner of the fundamental actions of the priest (shinshoku) when they perform shrine rites, and whi...

Hōbeisai

A rite of giving heihaku (offerings) to the kami, from the emperor or the nation. There are both customary and occasional versions of hōbeisai. The Jingiryō establishes nineteen annual hōbeisai, beginning with kinensai in spring. It also sets down that shrines should "hold separate c...

Keihitsu

This is a call made by the priest and people involved in a festival and is used during various rituals and ceremonies, when invoking the kami (kōshin), opening and closing sanctuary doors and at divine processions. It is addressed to the kami as well as to those in attendance, encouraging them...

Kenpeishi

Established after World War II, a kenpeishi is an emissary sent by the Association of Shinto Shrines (Jinja Honchō) to its affiliated shrines to present tribute (heihaku) on behalf of the Association. This tribute (heihakuryou) is presented on the occasion of reisai, chinzasai, honden senzasai...

Kōshin, shōshin

When a extraordinary ritual is conducted outside a shrine, this is the Invocation of the kami to be present at the ritual or to withdraw at its conclusion. This practice is from the time before the appearance of permanent shrine buildings, and was a necessary ceremony when a tree or boulder was cho...

Naorai

A banquet that accompanies a matsuri. Usually understood as a meal consisting of the offerings made at the festival after its conclusion, the naorai is actually one of the constituent elements of matsuri. According to the Association of Shinto Shrines' Jinja saishiki, a naorai is included in major ...

Reisai

The annual taisai of a shrine, held on a day connected either to the enshrined deity or the origin of the shrine. The term reisai is comparatively recent. In ancient times this rite was distinguished from others held throughout the year by calling it the honorific ōmatsuri ('great festival') o...

Sanpai sahō

The usual way to worship in the presence of the kami (at a shrine) is to bow twice, clap twice, and bow a third time. The majority of shrines follow the guidelines set down by the Association of Shinto Shrines in the Jinja saishiki gyōji sahō (Protocol for Shrine Rites and Rituals). In th...

Shikinensai

Rites held annually. Rites of this type are broadly divided between those held regularly at shrines and those held for the imperial ancestors at the palace. Those held at the palace are conducted according to the Ordinance of Imperial Household Rites (Kōshitsu saishirei) of 1908. According to ...

Shinkōsai

The characters Shinkō are read as miyuki and indicates a rite concerned with the kami going or traveling (out of the sanctuary). Shinkōsai is a rite related to this. Frequently held as part of the reisai, its performance is specified in the Jinja saishiki, stating "on the occasion of the ...

Shōsai

One type of shrine rite, this is a rite conducted on a small scale. Before 1945 these were specified under government regulation, and thereafter by the Association of Shinto Shrines (Jinja honchō) in the "Regulations of Shrine Observances." According to there regulations, the Association divid...

Shubatsu

To undergo Purification. To guarantee purity, the shubatsu is a ceremony conducted immediately in advance of all ritual to purify the all those taking part and worshippers, food offerings, and tamagushi of sins and defilement, Some shrines follow ancient practices in conducting the ceremony, but th...

Taisai

One division of shrine rites, these are rites to do with major festivals. From the Meiji era, these observances were specified under government ordinance, but since 1945 they have been specified in the Association of Shinto Shrines (jinja honchō) in the Regulation of Shrine observances (Jinja ...

Zassai

Zassai are all kami rites not bound by the regulations. The term means "myriad or various festivals" and the word is similar to Zōka (which is a collection of assorted, unrelated Tanka in the Manyōshū). Also referred to as varied festivals (shosai). In the era of state control of shr...





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