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Individual Shrine Observances


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Kikusuisai

This is an ancient type of festival held on October 29 at Futarayama Jinja in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture. On the day preceding the festival there are yabusame (horseback archery) contests on a racecourse within the keidai (shrine precincts). These are performed twice on the same day, and a...

Koden shinjō sai

This ritual occurs on November 23 at Izumo Taisha in Taisha Town, Hikawa County, Shimane Prefecture. The gūji (chief priest), the Izumo Kokusō, offers new grains to the kami, and with the tenjin chigi (the kami of heaven and earth), performs the ainame (see ainamesai), in which gratitude ...

Komahiki shinji

"Horse Leading Ritual." The komahiki shinji takes place an October 15 at Masumida Jinja in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture. In this festival, the horses to be used in the next year's tōkasai (held on April 3) are selected. There are only thirty horses used in the festival, but with need for ...

Kōnomachi zamondō

The kōnomachi zamondō is a festival that takes place at Rokusho Jinja, an ancient provincial sōja (a shrine for several kami), in Ōiso Town, Naka County, Kanagawa Prefecture on May 5. The shin'yo (sacred palanquins) for the five great shrines (taisha gosha) of the ancient region...

Kōnomiya hadaka matsuri

This festival, commonly known as the kōnomiya hadaka matsuri (Kōnomiya Naked Festival), takes place on the thirteenth day of the first month of the lunar calendar at the Ōwari Ōkunitama Jinja in Inazawa City, Aichi Prefecture. In the past, this ceremony was known as the naoi shi...

Kunimuke matsuri

A shinkōsai (processional festival) held from March 18 to 23 at Keta Jinja, Hakui City, Ishikawa Prefecture. The festival name is also read heikokusai. It is a rite that recollects the territorial pacification exploits of the saijin (main enshrined kami) Ōnamuchinomikoto. A grand process...

Kurayami Matsuri

The primary ritual of the kurayami matsuri, the "Dark Festival," occurs on the evening of May 5at the Ōkunitama Jinja in Fuchū City, Tokyo Prefecture. This, however, is precededby a number of rituals beginning with a purification ceremony (harae shiki) in the sea off the coast of Shin...

Kuwafuri shinji

The kuwafuri shinji is an annual festival that takes place on April 24 at Nakayama Jinja in Tsuyama City, Okayama Prefecture. Before the shin'yo (sacred palanquin) leaves the shrine, a shishimai (lion dance) is performed in the front courtyard near the mizugaki (sacred fence, see tamagaki) gate to ...

Mato-bakai

Scrambling for the Target. An archery rite on January 15, at Shioji Shrine in Nagasu Town, Tamana County, Kumamoto Prefecture. "Bakau" means "to scramble for something." On the morning of the fifteenth after the ceremonies, three arrows are shot with oak bows at two targets in front of the shrine, ...

Matsu-no-o Matsuri

A festival of the sacred procession held at Matsu-no-o Shrine (Matsunō taisha) in Nishikyō Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto prefecture. The festival is held from the last day of the rabbit occurring in the fourth month to the first day of the bird occurring in the fifth month of the old lunar cale...

Me-kari shinji

A religious rite of seaweed (wakame) harvesting. Held on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar at Mekari Shrine in Moji ward, Kita-Kyūshū City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Before dawn on the old New Year's Day, a shrine official (shinshoku) goes down to the ocean beating against ...

Mi-nige no shinji

A religious event on the night of August 14 at Izumo Shrine (Izumo Taisha) in Taisha Town, Hikawa County, Shimane Prefecture. On the evening of August 12, shrine officials (shinshoku) purify (misogi) themselves on the Inasa shoreline. On the night of the 13th, a procession of shrine officials, led ...

Miare shinji, Mikage matsuri

A divine manifestation rite and Mi-kage Festival. A festival of both Kamowakeikazuchi Shrine (Kamowakeikazuchi jinja) (Upper Kamo) and Kamomioya Shrine (Kamomioya jinja) (Lower Kamo) in Kita Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. On May 15 there is a procession. It is called the Hollyhock Festival (Ao...

Mikakushi shinji

A rite of hiding. A festival held on May 3 at Yaegaki Shrine (Yaegaki jinja) in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture. The enshrined kami are Susanoo-no-mikoto and Kushinada-hime. It is based on the myth of Kushi-nada-hime hiding deep in her residence at the time when Yamata-no-orochi (a giant serpent) w...

Mikamagi shinji

Sacred Firewood Rite. A rite held on December 10 at Kumano Hongū Great Shrine (Kumano hongū taisha) in Hongū Town, Muro County, Wakayama Prefecture. Young parishioners (ujiko) dedicate as sacred firewood (mikamagi) all the firewood necessary for the preparation of sacred food offerin...

Mikari Shinji

A rite held from December 26 to January 4 at Awa Shrine (Awa jinja) in Tateyama City, Chiba Prefecture. The food offering (shinsen) of this rite are special. Japanese radishes, broiled fish, sacred sake, vegetables, and sea products are offered together with white rice in the morning and red rice (...

Mikiai no Shinji

Sake distilling Rite. A festival on September 9 at Susa Shrine (Susa jinja) in Sada Town, Hikawa County, Shimane Prefecture. A rice harvest thanskgiving festival based on the ancient ceremony of Susanoo-no-mikoto taking Kushinada-hime as his wife. Shrine officials (shinshoku) start a fire by rubbin...

Mimashie Matsuri

A rite that takes place from January 1 to 3 at Kibitsu Shrine (Kibitsu jinja) in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture. Sacred mochi (shitogi) is offered and placed in a kettle kept in the most sacred of halls, the Mi-kama-den. When the fire is lit in the oven, the kettle makes a whistling sound. The ri...

Minakuchi Matsuri

On July 19 and 20, a rice-field planting festival and an irrigation festival occur at Mononobe Shrine (Mononobe jinja) in Ōda city, Shimane prefecture. After the ceremonies, horses decorated with sacred batons are led before the Ceremonial Hall (haiden). They are then led through the Ceremonia...

Mitana-e shinji

Sacred shelf society rite. A rite held on January 14 at Kamowakeikazuchi Shrine (Kamowakeikazuchi jinja) in Kami-gamo, Kita Ward, Kyoto city, Kyoto prefecture. Included in the rite is a fish reading. Originally each of the six religious districts (shinryō) of Yamashiro sent a shelf as an offer...



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