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Individual Shrine Observances


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Gechinsai

In the past it was believed that ekishin, the kami of pestilence, was extremely active during the third month of the lunar calendar, just as the petals begin to fall.       The gechinsai festival occurs on April 18 at Sai Jinja, the sessha (auxiliary shrine) of Ōmiwa Jinja ...

Gion matsuri

A festival held between July 1 and July 29 at the Yasaka Jinja in Higashiyama Ward, Kyōto City, Kyōto Prefecture. In ancient times it was called the Gionryō'e ("Gion Spirit Assembly"). The origin of the festival is supposedly the spirit assembly sponsored by Emperor Seiwa to drive ou...

Gogan shinji

The gogan shinji is an annual festival (reisai) that takes place on February 10 at the Sugōisobe Jinja in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture. After a ceremony, dozens of young ujiko (parishioners) of the two areas surrounding the shrine, Shikiji and Oka, dressed in white undergarments, white pleat...

Gomottomosama

Gomottomosama is the vernacular name for the February setsubun festival that is held at Mitsumine Jinja in Ōtaki Village, Chichibu County, Saitama Prefecture. A ritual bean scattering takes place in the haiden on the day before the calendrical beginning of spring (setsubun no hi). Toshiotoko (...

Gozakae Shinji

This ritual occurs the evening of September 24 at Sada Jinja in Kashima Town, Yatsuka County, Shimane Prefecture. This ritual, which has been practiced since the Yōrō era (717-724), consists of replacing the straw matting of the kamikura. On the evening of the September 24, priests below ...

Hama-ori Matsuri

Going to the Shore Festival. A rite held on July 15 at Samukawa Shrine (Samukawa jinja) in Samukawa Town, Kōzaku District, Kanagawa Prefecture. Legend has it that this rite began in 1839 when the fisherman of Chigasaki rescued the sacred form of the divinity (shintai) that had been carried awa...

Hana matsuri (Yamagata)

"Flower Festival." A festival held on July 15 at the Dewa Mountain Shrines (Dewa sanzan jinja), in Haguro Town, Higashitagawa District, Yamagata Prefecture. On both sides of the road of Tōke village at the foot of the mountain, flowers and artificial flowers appear everywhere as decorations, e...

Hana-bai matsuri

A festival for the successful raising of silkworms, occurring on January 6 at Hakusan Shrine in Shiratori Town, Gujō District, Gifu Prefecture. Also called the Sixth Day Festival. A serving platter is placed before the altar and rice, mochi (rice cake), fruits and such are placed as offerings ...

Hana-e sai

"Flower Assembly Festival." A festival held on April 11, at the Futarayama Shrine (Futarayama Jinja) on Baba Street, Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture in commemoration of the temporary manifestation of the enshrined kami (saijin) at this location. Four boys around the age of twelve wear elaborate...

Hana-no-tō

A week-long festival taking place beginning May 8 at Atsuta Shrine (Atsuta jingū), in Atsuta Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. It is said that the number of people who participate is second only to the number of visitors on the first days of January, when many people make their first visit ...

Hana-tsumi matsuri

"Picking Flowers Festival." A ritual held on April 13–14 at Ōtori Shrine (Ōtori Jinja) in Sakai City, Ōsaka Prefecture. Young children in festive costumes, blossom gathering girls (hanatsumime) and a float decorated with flowers (hanaguruma) pulled by several tens of men accomp...

Hanamori matsuri

"Heaping of Flowers Festival." An observance held on April 22 at Niutsuhime Shrine (Niutsuhime jinja) in Katsuragi Town, Ito District, Wakayama Prefecture. The name is derived from the fact that alongside the standard food offerings (shinsen) for the kami, cherry blossoms are piled up and offered. ...

Hani-tsukai

A rite held at Sumiyoshi Shrine (Sumiyoshi taisha) in Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture twice, at the beginning of February and the beginning of November. A rite where clay for making the earthenware platters called hiraka used in the festivals is brought from Mt. Unebi in Yamato. Ten da...

Hara-bote matsuri

A festival on September 4–5 at Suwa Shrine in Yamanakako Village, Minami-Tsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture. On the evening of the fourth, the sacred palanquin (mi-koshi) is transported to a temporary resting place. On the fifth when it is returned, pregnant women carry the palanquin. This ...

Hashira matsuri

This festival is held on July 17 at Sekiyama Shrine in Myōkō Village, Naka-Kubiki County, Niigata Prefecture. On this day, after unlit "pillar torches" (hashira matsu), pine-branch torches with their lower ends buried in the ground, are positioned to the right and left of the keidai (shri...

Hassaku matsuri

The term hassaku refers to the first day of the eight lunar month and the term hassaku matsuri encompasses a variety of observances held to ask the kami for a plentiful harvest. The hassaku matsuri at Matsu-no-o Shrine (Matsunoo Taisha) in Nishikyō Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture is held on...

Hataage shinji

This observance is held on July 15 at Ayabe Hachiman Shrine in Nakabaru Town, Miyaki County, Saga Prefecture. On the gingko tree within the keidai (shrine grounds), which is a sacred tree (shinboku), a bamboo pole is placed to raise a flag. On this day, four youths charged with climbing the sacred ...

Hataori shinji

Also known as the Yamaguchi festival, this ritual is an annual observance (reisai) held on October 27 and 28 at Nikabe Shrine in Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Formerly, on the occasion of annual observances on the days of the Snake and Horse in the ninth lunar month, a loom-weaving ritual (...

Hato-tori matsuri

"Dove-capturing Festival." A festival held at Atago Shrine in Senmaya Town, Higashi Iwai District, Iwate Prefecture. The festival is held in mid-August, but its specific day of celebration is not fixed. A wooden figure of a phoenix called ohato ("dove") is placed on top of an unvarnished portable s...

Hatsu'u matsuri

Prior to World War II, this ritual was held on the "first Day of the Rabbit" (hatsu'u) in both May and November at Sumiyoshi Shrine in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The seven days preceding the festival were a period of abstinence for the placation of the kami (chinsai). During this perio...



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