Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
 main menu
  »New EOS site



  »Guide to Usage

  »Contributors & Translators


  »Movies List

Home » 4. Jinja (Shrines) » Ritual Implements and Vestments
An honorific for the more common nusa, a ritual purification wand. Wands presented when invoking the kami or when exorcising sins or imperfections (tsumi) were called nusa, and made primarily from the inner bast of paper mulberry (), fibers of flax (asa), and later, from woven fabrics and paper. In his Kojikiden, Motoori Norinaga defined ōnusa as divine offerings of silk, , or flax. One ancient usage can be seen in Kojiki's record of Emperor Chūai, in which an ōnusa was used in the Great Ceremony of Purification (ōharae). Ōnusa used in purification may be made of linen or paper streamers (shide) attached to a branch of the sakaki tree, or the streamers may be attached to a hexagonal or octagonal staff of unfinished wood (the latter type is also called haraegushi). In ancient times, a person to be purified took the ōnusa by hand in order to transfer sins (tsumi) and pollutions (kegare) to it, or the ōnusa was waved (left, right, left) over the object to be purified. In later times, however, the practice of waving the ōnusa over the person or object was universally adopted. See also heihaku.

-Motosawa Masashi


A priest using an Onusa to purify the altar area and worshipers.

Kokugakuin University, 2005

©Ōsawa Kōji

"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
4-10-28 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8440, Japan
URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
Copyright ©2002-2006 Kokugakuin University. All rights reserved.
Ver. 1.3