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Individual Shrine Observances


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Hitotsuyama Shinji

Single Mountain Rite. A festival held every twenty years at Iwa Shrine (Iwa jinja) in Ichinomiya Town, Shisō County, Hyōgo Prefecture. The festival is to worship Mt. Miya which is said to be tomb of the enshrined deity (saijin) Ōnamuchi-no-mikoto. Further, every sixty years there is ...

Hitoyo kanjo

One-night Imperial Servant-girls. A rite held on February 20 at Sumiyoshi Shrine in Nishi-Yodogawa Ward, Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture. Seven girls, aged between ten and thirteen are selected from the families of the shrine's worshippers, and become imperial servants. They make food offerings to the...

Hōnen matsuri

Good Harvest Festival. A festival held at Ōagata Shrine (Ōagata jinja) in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture. The Sunday closest to March 15 is the festival day. Also called the Hime no Miya Hōnen Festival. The festival complements the Good Harvest Festival of Tagata Shrine and is famous...

Hote matsuri

Sail-cord Festival. A festival held on March 10 at Shiogama Shrine (Shiogama jinja) in Shiogama City, Miyazaki Prefecture. Beginning two days before the festival, sacred dance and music (kagura), a shrine priestess festival, Yamato dances are performed at the Ceremonial Hall (haiden). After the cer...

Idori-matsuri

A rite held on the evening of November seventh at Sugawara Jinja in Noto-chō, Fugeshi-gun, Ishikawa prefecture, in which a mochi (cake of pounded rice) is handed from one group to another in the worship hall. On November first is a kuchiake matsuri (mouth-opening festival). On the third is the...

Igomori matsuri

Seclusion festival. A festival held from March eleventh to thirteenth at Tosa Jinja in Kōchi City, Kōchi prefecture. From the evening of March first the gūji (head priest) and shinshoku (shrine priests) enter into a period of monoimi (purificatory abstinence) On the afternoon of the ...

Ikibina matsuri

Living doll festival. On April third at Ichinomiyaminashi Jinja in Hida, Miya Village, Ōno-gun, Gifu prefecture, a rite is performed in which seven women are chosen to play the role of living dolls, and are lined up in front of the kami. Afterwards the living dolls throw mochi (pounded rice ca...

Inu matsuri

Dog festival. A festival of Sugio Jinja in Umamachi, Tsuruoka City, Yamagata prefecture, believed to have once involved human sacrifice. This festival is a ritualization of an oral tradition about a dog that subdued a badger which had been living in the mountain behind the village. It had been rava...

Janome shinji

The janome shinji (Snake Eye Ritual) takes place at the Keta Jinja in Hakui City, Ishikawa Prefecture on April 3. According to tradition, when the enshrined kami (saijin), Ōnamuchinomikoto, subjugated the region he dispatched a large snake that was living in the Ōchi Lagoon, and thus the ...

Jochūsai

This festival occurs in July, eleven days after the summer solstice, at the shrine Izanagi Jingū in Ichinomiya Town, Tsuna County, Hyōgo Prefecture. The ritual takes place before harvesting and consists of prayers asking for the protection of crops from insect damage. The participants rec...

Kakitsusai

A rite held from October tenth to twelfth at Danzan Jinja on Tōnomine, Sakurai City, Nara Prefecture. This shrine venerates Fujiwara Kamatari. Tradition says that this festival began in the first year of the Kakitsu era (1441) on the occasion of the shrine's rebuilding after its destruction by...

Kamado matsuri

Oven festival. The main annual festival held on July tenth at Shiogama Jinja, Shiogama City, Miyagi Prefecture. On that day, in what is called the asamairinogi (morning veneration rite), participants draw sea water at high tide and exchange the water in the sacred kitchen cauldron of the shrine wit...

Kamiari matsuri

A rite held on the tenth through seventh days of the tenth month of the lunar calendar at Izumo Taisha in Taisha Township, Hikawa-gun, Shimane Prefecture. Generally, October was referred to as kannazuki (the month when kami are not present). But since kami from throughout the country gather at Izum...

Kangensai

A festival held on the seventeenth day of the six month in the lunar calendar at Itsukushima Jinja in Miyajima Town, Saeki County, Hiroshima Prefecture. Kangen is an ensemble composed of three woodwind instruments (kan: flute [fue], a flageolet-like instrument [hichiriki] and a free-reed mouth orga...

Kanmisosai (Mikami Shrine)

A rite held on November 15 in which a robe is presented to the saijin (enshrined deity) of Mikami Shrine in Yasu Town, Yasu County, Shiga Prefecture. The gūji (chief priest) offers norito (prayers), presents a robe and performs a sacred dance (kagura) called the sakaki no mai. The kanmiso robe...

Karasade shinji

The rite of sending off or returning the kami at the conclusion of the kamiari masturi (festival of the kami who are present) at Sata Jinja in Sata, Kajima Township, Yatsuka-gun, Shimane Prefecture on November twenty-fifth (Sata Shrine) is known as the Karasade rite. The month when kami from all th...

Karasu sumō

At Kamowakeikazuchi Jinja in Kita Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, following the chōyō ritual (commonly called the Chrysanthemum Rite), which occurs during the chōyō no sekku on September 9 (traditionally perceived as an auspicious day, also called the Chrysanthemum Festival)...

Kenchō Shinji

This ritual takes place from January 1 through 3 at Iyahiko Jinja in Iyahiko Village, Nishikanbara County, Niigata Prefecture. On each evening, a platform (shimadai) with wooden sculptures of birds is placed, along with other offerings (shinsen), in front of the kami. After the ceremony, the wooden...

Ki matsuri

A festival held on the first Sunday in April at Itakiso Jinja in Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture. Tradition says that in the ancient past the saijin (main enshrined kami) Itakerunomikoto, son of Susanoonomikoto, descended to this place carrying tree seeds. Thus this region was called kinokuni (t...

Kibune matsuri

Formerly this festival was held on the first day of the fourth and eleventh months at Kibune Jinja in Sakyō Ward, Kyōto City, Kyōto Prefecture. Prior to the Meiji Period, when this shrine had an auxiliary shrine relationship to Kamowakeikazuchi Jinja (also known as Kamikamo Jinja, Up...



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