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Individual Shrine Observances


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Hatsuho matsuri

This ritual to celebrate the first ears of rice harvested is held on October 15 at Ikukunitama Shrine in Tennōji Ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture. It was formerly held on the twenty-eighth day of the ninth lunar month. Twelve young girls as food servers bear ears of rice piled in bamboo bask...

Hatsukae sai

This "festival of the twentieth day gathering" is held from April 1 to April 5 at Asama Jinja in Miyagasaki District, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture. The festival is so named because it was originally held on the twentieth day of the second lunar month. Festival floats (dashi) and portable stag...

Hatsuyuki matsuri

An refined observance carried out on the first day of snow, at the shrine Kitano Tenmangū, in Kamigyō ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. At the first shrine gate (torii) is a pine tree in which the spirit of the Heian period courtier Sugawara Michizane, worshipped at Kitano Tenmangū...

Haya-uma matsuri

Festival of messenger (quick) horses. A supplication festival for the increase of animal stock carried out on the vernal equinox at Ukemochi Shrine, on the grounds of Nitta Shrine (Nitta jinja) in Miyauchi Town, Sendai City, Kagoshima Prefecture. Horses are decorated with cloth, rope, and bells in ...

Hayama shinji

A rite of divination for the next year (toshiura) fish catch, held at Shishiki Shrine in Higashi Ward, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, on November 19-20. Two groups of three young men compete in front of the shrine for the quickest preparation of a religious food offering (shinsen) of bream (tai)...

Hayama-gomori

The Sojourn to Hayama. A retreat festival on the fifteenth day to the eighteenth day of the eleventh month of the old lunar calendar, held at Kuronuma Shrine, Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture. According to the legend, a long time ago the nearby hamlet of Kanisawa was being attacked by a giant c...

Hi no mai shinji

Fire Dance Rite. A rite at which fire is thrown, held on 20 November at Kita Shrine in Kushima City, Miyazaki Prefecture. Dancers are selected from the youth of local parishioners (ujiko), with a very strict period of abstinence (kessai) and purification (bekka) continuing for half a month prior to...

Hi-awase shinji

Linking Up of Fires Rite. A festival on July 14 at Mt. Chōkai Ōmonoimi Shrine (Chōkaizan Ōmonoimi jinja) in Yuza Town, Akumi District, Yamagata Prefecture. Fires are lit simultaneously at Ōmonoimi Shrine, at Omonoimi Shrine of Tobishima in Sakata City and at three places ne...

Hi-kae shinji

Fire-exchange Rite. A rite from the night of July 31 to August 1, held at Sumiyoshi Shrine (Sumiyoshi taisha) in Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture. The summer purification ceremonies (nagoshi no harae) are held on the thirty-first. On August 1, the sacred palanquin (mi-koshi) is transpor...

Hi-kiri shinji

Fire-Starting Rite. A rite on the night of November 23, at Kanasana Shrine (Kanasana jinja) in Kamikawa Town, Kodama District, Saitama Prefecture. In the dark, a sacred fire is started by ancient methods (e.g. striking flints, tinder etc.). A rite for the dispelling of illness and disease. The orig...

Hi-no-mai matsuri

Fire Dance Festival. A festival held on February 7 at Yatsukaho Shrine, a related shrine (massha) of Toga Shrine (Toga jinja) in Ichinomiya Town, Hoi County, Aichi Prefecture. In the shrine precincts (keidai) a garden watch fire (niwabi) is set and after the intonation of ritual prayers (norito), s...

Hi-taki no shinji

Bonfire Rite. A religious event that has been held for a long time at Shimomiya Shrine, an associated shrine (sessha) of Aso Shrine (Aso jinja) in Ichinomiya City, Aso County, Kumamoto Prefecture. It is said that Shimomiya Shrine began when the deity Aso was lamenting that grain crops were failing ...

Hiburi shinji

Fire-Waving Rite. A rite for the sacred marriage between the enshrined deity and rice deity Toshinegami and Hime-gozen. This is held at the San-no-Miya of Aso Shrine (Aso jinja) in Ichinomiya Town, Aso County, Kumamoto Prefecture. In mid- to late March, on a saru (monkey) day in the old calendar, ...

Hie matsuri

Hiyoshi Festival. A festival held April 12-15 at Hiyoshi Shrine (Hiyoshi taisha) in Sakamoto, Ōtsu Cty, Shiga Pefecture. On March 1, the sacred palanquins (mi-koshi) of Ushio and Sannomiya Shrines are carried to and installed in the shrines' halls on top of Mt. Ushio in the "Ceremony of Raisin...

Hikiai-mochi shinji

Tug-of-War of the Mochi Rite. A rite at the Hachiman Shrine in Gose City, Nara Prefecture, held on the ninth day of the ninth month of the old lunar calendar. Six large round mochi are placed in straw bags called kogutsu. The kogutsu is tightly bound with cords then pulled along with a rope. The pa...

Hikime shinji

Whistling Arrow Rite. A religious archery event for the dispelling of devils at Setsubun. The rite is held on February 4 at Chūgūshi, Mt. Futara Shrine (Futara-san jinja) in Nikkō City, Tochigi Prefecture. After the ceremony, prayers for the protection of the nation are given, facing...

Hikimen Gokitō

Hikimen Prayers. An archery rite held at Fūrō Shrine (Fūrō-gū) in Ōkawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture, from the twenty-eight day of the third month to the second day of the fourth month of the old Lunar Calendar. Shrine officials (shinshoku) shoot kaburaya (arrows with turn...

Himuro matsuri

Ice storehouse festival. A rite held from the night of May 31 to early morning June 1, at Yatsushiro Shrine (Yatsushiro gū) in Yatsushiro City, Kumamoto Prefecture. Newly weds, individuals born in an inauspicious year (yakudoshi), and those celebrating their sixtieth birthday (kanreki) worship...

Hinerikiri matsuri

Pinching Festival. A festival of buttock-pinching on 21-22 August, at Ukishima Shrine in Tabuse Town, Kumage County, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The name is so-called because women participants in the festival have their buttocks pinched. It is said that if you are pinched you will be blessed with a good...

Hinkoko matsuri

A festival held on April 15 at Ōyada Shrine in Mino City, Gifu Prefecture. Hinkoko means doll. The people make about thirty dolls two meters tall, woven from bamboo and representing Susanoo and peasant and a doll of the orochi (mythical eight-headed serpent). Late at night gongs and drums send...



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