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Divination and Supplication


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Bokusen

A method of divination for determining the divine will or foretelling the outcome of an event. Today, bokusen most often signifies divination in general which comprises an extremely complex variety of methods. In the original sense of bokusen, however, depicted the shape of cracking that appears...

Fugeki

A religious figure that receives the power of a divine spirit and communicates its will (takusen; see Kamigakari Takusen) or summons the spirit of a deceased person who speaks through him or her. A fugeki is believed capable of summoning a divine spirit or the spirit of a deceased person to descend...

Gyō

Gyō is a category of religious practices that can be found in every religion and can be broadly grouped into spiritual practices and physical practices. Though influenced by the religious practices of other Asian religions, Shintō practices can be regarded as having developed their own un...

Hakushu

"Hand clapping," which forms part of proper etiquette for worshipping a deity. Because both hands are first spread open to each side, it is also called "hand opening" (hirade) or "oak hands" (kashiwade). Hand clapping has been part of worship etiquette since ancient times in Japan. The Treatise on ...

Hōnō

The dedication of a votive object or the presentation of a performance with the aim of entreating Shinto and Buddhist deities through prayer or of expressing feelings such as gratitude to them. Together with practices that include praying at shrines and temples, visiting a temple to thank a deity f...

Junrei, junpai

According to idiomatic use, the terms junrei and junpai both refer to a form of "circuit pilgrimage" in which multiple shrines, temples or other religious centers are visited on a single occasion or as part of a single journey, but the term junpai appears to have broader application. The purpose of...

Kaichō

Lit., "opening the curtain," the temporary special exhibition of images of kami and buddhas, or other shrine and temple treasures that are normally kept hidden. The practice of kaichō can be found as far back as the Heian period, but the practice spread nationwide in the early modern period. K...

Kamigakari, takusen

Kamigakari refers to the possession of a person by a kami or other spirit. It is often followed by takusen, whereby the possessed person serves as a "medium" (yorimashi ) to communicate the divine will or message of that kami or spirit. Also included in the category of takusen is "dream revelation...

Kayu'ura

"Rice-gruel divination" is a type of "divination for the coming year" (toshiura) that was formerly held around the 15th of the first lunar month of the year, koshōgatsu (literally, "little New Year's Day"), which follows ōshōgatsu on the first day of the lunar year. Today, it is gene...

Kiboku

"Tortoise-shell divination" (kiboku) is an oracular method practiced since archaic times, whereby a tortoise shell is heated then the outcome of future events is foretold by interpreting the pattern of cracking on the shell. It is also called kizei or kitaku. A popular practice in Yin dynasty China...

Kisei

Kisei, also pronounced as kishō, refers to entreating the kami through prayer and has the same meaning as kitō, kigan and kinen, and so forth. According to Shoku Nihongi, for example, one entry (twelfth month, tenth day, 740) describes how Fujiwara no Hirotsugu (?-740), while leading an u...

Kishōmon

When people form an agreement over a certain matter, they draw up a kishōmon, or "written pledge," to swear to the Shinto and Buddhist deities that they are not falsely representing the truth and will not violate the pledge. It is also simply called a kishō. The format of a kishōmon ...

Kitō

Kitō are magico-religious invocations of the powers of a wide range of Shintō and Buddhist deities in hope of divine favor or protection. The ritual is also referred to as kinen, kigan, or kisei ; it also shares the same meaning as inori and nomi. In ancient times, invocations and offeri...

Kiu, shiu

Kiu refers to praying to kami for rainfall and shiu refers to praying to them for the cessation of rain. Since both are rain-related prayers or rituals, "rainmaking" (kiu) and "rain-halting" (shiu) are often grouped together. In the earliest record of court-sponsored rainmaking, Nihon shoki include...

Kukatachi

Also pronounced kugatachi, this ritual is a type of trial in which the legitimacy or veracity of a person's claim is judged by the divine will. After the suspected person is made to swear to the kami, he must plunge and keep his hand in boiling water. A guilty man will suffer severe burns, but a ri...

Nukemairi

The practice of leaving one's place residence or occupation without permission in order to make pilgrimage (see sankei) to a shrine or temple. The term was applied particularly to the custom of making pilgrimages to the Grand Shrines of Ise (Ise Jingū) by young serving men or women who could n...

Ohyakudo

Ohyakudo ("one hundred times"), also called hyakudo-mairi ("one-hundred-times pilgrimage"), is a form of pilgrimage to shrines and temples for the purpose of praying to kami and buddhas. The term ohyakudo refers to the act of visiting certain shrines and temples one hundred times. Often this is don...

Okagemairi

"Thanks pilgrimages" or "blessing pilgrimages," a term referring to periodic mass pilgrimages to the Grand Shrines of Ise (Ise Jingū) in the Edo period, undertaken against the backdrop of the spread of the Ise cult (Ise shinkō) from the middle ages and the general acceptance of pilgrimage...

Saimon

Saimon, also pronounced saibun, is a written proclamation that is read to the spirit of one or more kami. In days of old, "imperial proclamations" (senmyō) were also called saimon. At the Grand Shrine of Ise (Ise jingū), saimon refers to a report from the emperor presented by an imperial ...

Saniwa

An abbreviation for sayaniwa, saniwa is commonly regarded as having originally referred to a purified site called saniwa () where a deity was worshipped and its "divine message" (takusen) was revealed. As a result, saniwa later came to signify "a person who receives a divine revelation at a san...



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