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Divination and Supplication

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A general term for "pilgrimage," the travel to a shrine or temple for the purpose of worship. In the ancient period, most worship was limited to the so-called "clan deity" (ujigami) of each locality, but from the Heian period, the object of such worship expanded, and people began traveling to shrin...


Shōzui, also called zuishō, is an "auspicious omen." Throughout the world in both past and present, people have shared the belief that the appearance of a rare natural phenomenon—such as an animal, plant, meteorological event, or astronomical event—is an omen indicating the st...


Collective term for the various methods used to divine the fortune of a single year. Divinations regard matters of concern to an entire community such as the growth of crops, harvest, and weather; or private concerns such as the fortune of a single family or individual. In addition to meaning "a ye...


An "age of calamity" at which a person is liable to suffer misfortune or illness, generally referring to the ages of 25 and 42 for men or of 19 and 33 for women. In particular, the ages of 42 for men and 33 for women are called "major calamity" (taiyaku), with the preceding year called maeyaku and ...


In this ritual, water is boiled in a large pot placed before the altar, then a "female shaman" (miko) or other religious functionary soaks bamboo grass (sasa) leaves in the boiling water and sprinkles it on his or her body or on the other people present. In ancient times, the ritual was also called...

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