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Home » 9. Texts and Sources » Shinto Classics and Literature
Purification rituals of the Nakatomi. This refers to the ōharae (great purification ritual). Because the Nakatomi clan read the words of purification on the last day of the sixth and twelfth months, these came to be known as Nakatomi saimon (Nakatomi ritual documents), Nakatomi harae kotoba (Nakatomi words of purification), or simply abbreviated as Nakatomi no harae. The words of the great purification were recited for those assembled for the great purification, but the text of Nakatomi saimon preserved in Chōya gunsai shows that this ritual changed into words presented before the deities. In the medieval period Shintō amalgamated with Onmyōdō (Yin-Yang divination) and esoteric Buddhist teachings, and it was believed that by saying these words one could obtain merit similar to those obtainable from magical words or dharani, and these words were extensively used when magico-religious incantations (kitō ) were offered. Also, from the belief that the more often these words were recited the more merit one could receive, this ritual was presented by reciting the ritual words one hundred times, a thousand times, or even ten thousand times. Thus the "essential words of the purification rituals of the Nakatomi," and the "greatest words of the Purification Ritual of the Nakatomi" were created. From the medieval ages on these words were especially venerated by Buddhist Shintō and Confucian Shintō scholars, and many commentaries compiled by these people are extant. A famous commentary by a Buddhist Shintō scholar is Nakatomi harae kunge, and from a Confucian Shintō scholar we have Nakatomi harae fūsuisō .

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