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Home » 4. Jinja (Shrines) » Offerings and Talismans
Shiroki, Kuroki
Literally, "white rice wine" and "black rice wine," types of sacred wine (omiki) used in Shinto offerings (shinsen). Ki is an ancient term for rice wine (sake). According to the section of the Engishiki concerning the palace brewmaster (mikizukasa), shiroki is a "light wine" made by filtering fermented rice harvested from shrine fields (shinden), while kuroki is a "dark wine" made by the additional step of adding to the shiroki the ashes of an plant called kusagi, thus producing a rice wine with grayish color. Shiroki and kuroki have been used since ancient times in the palace festivals of Niinamesai and Daijōsai, and the emperor himself drank them. They were also offered at the festival of Kannamesai at the Grand Shrines of Ise. Shiroki and kuroki were originally contrasted to seishu, or refined sake, but seishu later came to be associated in a pair with nigorizake (unrefined sake), and the two are sometimes used as substitutes for shiroki and kuroki.

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