Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
 main menu
  »New EOS site



  »Guide to Usage

  »Contributors & Translators


  »Movies List

Home » Special Topics » Special Topics
Daily Aspects (higara) and Directional Taboos (hōi)
The phrase Today, even the days aspect is good, (Ϥɤ) is a familiar expression heard at Japanese weddings. This statement refers to the fact that the day is one of taian, or great peace and auspiciousness, the most positive of the six daily aspects (rokuyō). These six are: senshō (辡), tomobiki (ͧ), senbu (), butsumetsu (ʩ), taian (), and shakkō (ָ). Phrases like this in present-day Japan are a partial carryover of what was, in the Edo period, a widespread popular belief in the six daily aspects. In other words, the customs of avoiding holding funerals on tomobiki days and trying to hold weddings on taian days (and if that is not possible, at least trying to avoid butsumetsu days) in Japan today are representative of this beliefs lingering presence. Because these six deal with the auspiciousness or inauspiciousness of days, they are called higara, the daily character or daily aspect.
       In addition to daily aspects, there are also directional taboos, the best known among them today being the kimon (lit. the demon gate) and katatagae (the practice of changing a direction to avoid a tabooed direction). The demon gate is associated with the northeasterly direction, thus in the construction of a house, locating such things as toilets to the northeast of a houses center (known as its daikokubashira) is considered taboo. The influence of this way of thinking can also be seen in the layout of Japanese cities, which explains why Kanei temple in Ueno was built where it was. Kanei temple lies directly northeast of where Edo Castle once stood, intended to protect the castles kimon. In the world of Japanese folk beliefs, not all times and spaces are considered equal, forming a complex spatio-temporal schema that incorporated notions of auspiciousness and inauspiciousness.
"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