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Individual Shrine Observances


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Mitoshiro tanemaki shinji

A rite of spreading the Seeds in the Sacred Rice Fields. A religious event held on July 1 at Ikushima Tarushima Shrine (Ikushima Tarushima jinja) in Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture. A temporary hall called the okatashiro is built on the levee of the sacred rice fields (mitoshirota) and after the cerem...

Mitoshiro-e shinji

A religious event held on July 1 at Kamowakeikazuchi Shrine (Kamo-wake-ikazuchi jinja) in Kita Ward, Kyoto city. Mitoshiro are the sacred shrine rice fields (shinden). The festival began in 750 when the court granted one chō of mitoshiro land to each Kamo shrine. In the morning are the ceremon...

Mohitori shinji

This rite takes place on July 15 at the interior shrine (okumiya) of Ookamiyama Shrine in Daisen Town, Saihaku County, Tottori Prefecture. A mohi is an earthenware container of ancient times that was used to serve water. The purpose of this rite is to enshrine sacred water (shinsui—here read a...

Momitawara tsuri

This rite takes place on the eve of the Festival of Prayer for Agricultural Fertility (kinensai) in February at Kuroshima Shrine in Ikenojiri Town, Kan'onji City, Kagawa Prefecture. In the precincts of the shrine (keidai) a tower (yagura) is built from black woods and festive bamboos (imidake) are ...

Momote shinji

This archery rite takes place on April 19 at Susa Jinja in Sada Town, Hikawa County of Shimane Prefecture. Momote means shooting an arrow one hundred times (two arrows are shot simultaneously). On the day before, is a kami appearance parade (shinkō gyōretsu) modeled after the myth of Susa...

Morotabune shinji

This rite takes place on December 3 at Miho Shrine in Mihonoseki Town, Yatsuka County, Shimane Prefecture. This relates to the myth regarding the transfer of the land (kuniyuzuri) recorded in the Kojiki and Nihonshoki. This rite is a recreation of the myth that Ōnamuchi-no-mikoto's messenger w...

Mushi-sagashi shinji

A rite searching for Insects and held on August 7 at Miho Shrine (Miho jinja) in Miho-no-seki Town, Yatsuka County, Shimane Prefecture. Shrine maidens (miko) wear old masks and holding sprigs of willow in their right hands and bells in their left hands, offer dances in the four directions to the mu...

Myōga Matsuri

Japanese Ginger rite. A religious event to divine the upcoming year (toshi-ura) on January 3 at Asusuki Shrine in Kanegochi Town, Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture. On this day, the prospects for the harvest of the upcoming year are divined based on the condition of the Japanese ginger that grows in the...

Nabekamuri matsuri

This "pot hat festival" is held on May 3 at Tsukuma Jinja (Miketsu Jinja) in Maihara Town, Sakata County, Shiga Prefecture. It is an unusual shinkōsai (sacred procession) wherein the progress of the divine palanquin is joined by eight young girls dressed in Heian period clothing, each with a p...

Nanajūgozen sai

This "Seventy-five Trays Ritual" is held in both spring and fall, on the second Sundays of May and October at Kibitsu Jinja in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture. It is a ritual dedicating seventy-five trays of food offerings (shinsen) to the seventy-five saijin, who are enshrined within the former K...

Nanohana matsuri

This ritual is held on the first Day of the Snake in April at Fushimi Inari Taisha in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. As rituals indicating the start of a period of abstinence for the festival, ceremonies are held at both the northern and southern temporary shrines (otabiden), then rape...

Nasubi shinji

This "eggplant ritual" is held on September 27 and 28 at Suga Jinja of Daitō Town, Ōhara County, Shimane Prefecture. After cutting the eggplants in half, participants cut the blossom-end side in four places and offered them at the shrine altar. Eggplants cut in this manner are said to res...

Nedari matsuri

This festival is held on the first Day of the Rooster in November at Toyosumi Jinja in Yui Town, Ihara County, Shizuoka Prefecture. For the ritual banquet meal, priests place winter cod, sea bream, and abalone on cutting blocks and present them to participants. The size of each type of seafood is f...

Nemurinagashi no shinji

This ritual is held on August 6 at Aso Shrine in Ichinomiya Town, Aso County, Kumamoto Prefecture. After a ceremony at Tazuwara Shrine, which is Aso Shrine's sessha (auxiliary shrine), a group of youths sing rice-planting songs as they are led by a takaharijōchin (a lantern attached to a long ...

Nenneko shinji

To pray for an easy childbirth and the healthy growth of children, this ritual is held on December 1 at Konoha Shrine in Koza Town, Higashi-Muro County, Wakayama Prefecture. From around 9:30 a.m., the baby nursing ritual (Komori no shinji) begins. Rice sacks, straw mats, and pillows—all in the...

Nōmai shinji

This ritual performance of dance and Nō plays is held on February 15 at Ugan Shrine in Ikeda Town, Imadate County, Fukui Prefecture. Four dengaku dance pieces and five Nō plays are performed at the shrine's hall of worship (haiden). These pieces are followed by another entitled "Notto" in...

Nōryō senkōsai

This ritual is held on August 7 by the Takebe Taisha, a prominent Shintō shrine in Ōtsu City, Shiga Prefecture. On August 1, after the sakaki offering ceremony (Sakakitate shinji) is held at the shrine's hall of worship (haiden), long, white cotton streamers are tied to two large sakaki b...

Nukiho no shinji

This rice harvest ritual takes place on October 9 at Hikawa Jinja in Ōmiya City, Saitama Prefecture. Offerings presented to the shrine consist of dumplings made from grains harvested that year and of newly harvested ears of rice.       On October 29, a nukiho ceremony occur...

Nusubito matsuri

This "Thief's Festival" is held on November 24 and 25 at Karino Jinja in Kaibara Town, Hikami County, Hyōgo Prefecture. The festivals name is said to derive from the legend that the shrine's enshrined deity (saijin) was chased away as a thief by the Ōyama deity. Another legend explains ...

Nyōdō sai

This festival starts on December 31 and ends before daybreak on January 1 at Ōmiwa Jinja in Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture. At midnight, the priest uses a special "fire-starting" mortar and pestle to kindle a pure fire (imibi) revered as a "sacred fire" (goshinka). After this ceremony, the prie...



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