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Home » 3. Institutions and Administrative Practices » Officiants
Hafuri
A term for Shinto priests (shinshoku), usually a rank beneath kannushi and negi. The etymology of the term is unclear, but according to Tanigawa Kotosuga's Wakun no shiori, it refers to shaking a garment to quell disaster or catastrophe. Motoori Norinaga explained it as related to iwai-matsuru, 'to celebrate and worship.' Origuchi Shinobu, dismissing relations to the verb "hafuru" or "haburu," which means "to bury," related the term to magical pacification of spirits (chinkonjutsu, see chinkonsai) through shaking an object. In the Nihon shoki's chapter on Emperor Chūai (eighth year, first month) it states that Igahiko was commanded to worship the kami as a hafuri. The term is also seen in chapters on Emperor Richū (fifth year, ninth month) and Emperor Yōmei (sixteenth year, second month), where hafuri is used for a person who delivers oracles (takusen) in a state of spirit possession (kamigakari). At the Suwa Shrine (now called Suwa Taisha) in Shinano Province (presently Nagano Prefecture), there are both daihafuri (senior hafuri) and gon-hafuri (provisional hafuri), while at the Aso Shrine (now called Aso Jinja) there are ichi hafuri, ni hafuri, and kokusō hafuri (first, second, and provincial hafuri), and at the Ōyamatsumi Shrine (now called the Ōyamatsumi Jinja), such terms as daihafuri may be found.
See also hafuribe

— Nishimuta Takao
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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