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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Ablutions. The practice of washing one's entire body and, in doing so, purifying oneself from the misfortunes, sins and pollutions (tsumi kegare ) that have become attached to the body. According to the Kojiki and Nihon shoki, the mythical origins of this practice can be found in the story of how Izanagi, after returning from Yomotsukuni, performed ablutions and ritual purification at Awagihara to rid himself of the pollution (kegare) of the underworld. Because misogi and ritual purification (harae) form a linked sequence of acts and ideas, they are often referred to by the single term misogiharae. In this context, one can find instances where misogi and harae are used interchangeably, but they originally signified distinctly separate practices. Misogi may be performed prior to a religious service or during a visit to a shrine. In addition to cleansing a body of pollution, misogi is also performed to welcome a new spirit and ease its attachment to a human body.

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