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Home » 4. Jinja (Shrines) » Offerings and Talismans
Ikenie
A kind of offering (shinsen) in which a living animal is presented to the kami. A few such living offerings are still found at present, including the white chickens of the Grand Shrines of Ise, but according to Engishiki, a variety of animals were offered in ancient times, including white boars, white chickens, and white horses. All such animals were released within the shrine precincts (keidai) following rituals of dedication. In its section dealing with ritual materials, Kōtai Jingū gishikichō records that the farmers belonging to dedicated shrine households (kanbe) in Shima Province provided ikenie to the Grand Shrines. An example in the fourth chapter of the Kamakura-period collection of legendary tales Ujishūi monogatari notes that a white boar was slaughtered and offered as an ikenie in a wind festival in Mikawa Province. The word ikenie ordinarily suggests a living thing, but as this example makes clear, such was not always the case. Similarly, many legends of human sacrifices are found throughout the country, though it is not clear to what degree the practice actually existed. See also shinsen.

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