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Home » 4. Jinja (Shrines) » Ritual Implements and Vestments
Originally a square serving tray for holding food, the oshiki is made of thin pieces of Japanese cypress (hinoki) or other wood, and used in the presentation of ritual offerings (shinsen or heihaku). Today they are mainly known as forming the upper part of the platform tray called sanbō. Usually made of unfinished wood, they may also be lacquered black or vermilion, in which case they are called nurioshiki; those decorated with painted designs are called eoshiki. According to the rules for ritual procedure established by the Association of Shinto Shrines (Jinja Honchō), when offering an oshiki the thumbs should be placed on the outside surface of the edge, with the palms and remaining fingers supporting the tray from below, and the tray held at the level of the eyes. See also sanbō .

-Inoue Nobutaka


Courtesy of Shinto Museum of Kokugakuin University

Oshiki on an


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