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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Shrine Rituals
Shubatsu
To undergo Purification. To guarantee purity, the shubatsu is a ceremony conducted immediately in advance of all ritual to purify the all those taking part and worshippers, food offerings, and tamagushi of sins and defilement, Some shrines follow ancient practices in conducting the ceremony, but the majority follow the procedure set out in the Association of Shinto Shrines' Jinja saishiki gyōji sahō (Protocol for Shrine Rites and Rituals). At an appropriate place set up outside the ritual space a purification area (haraedo) is constructed with bamboo and shimenawa. In front of the purification space "First the haraenushi (purification master) takes the purification incantantion out from the breast of his garb and holding it with his shaku, moves in front of the an (sacred table) recites the incantation (as set forth in the Protocol for offering Norito to the Godsand then returns to his original position. Then the priest in charge of the purification wand (ōnusa) comes before the an, takes the ōnusa and purifies those assembled who need purification. Then he replaces the wand and returns to hus place. After the ōnusa comes the priest who purifies with salt water. He comes before the an, takes the warm salt water, and purifies those who need purification. When finished, he places the water back on the table and returns to his place." The shubatsu is composed of the 3 purification elements: recitiation of the incantation, the ōnusa and the salt water. As is stated in the incantation, the purification originated with Izanagi, who purified himself after leaving the Yomotsukuni (land of the dead) by removing his clothing and bathing in the sea at a place called Tsukushi no Himuka no Tachibana no Komon no Awagihara. This is called misogi. He purified himself by stripping off everything and also by bathing in the sea. This is the reason that the ōnusa and salt water are used for purification. The ritual of purification was codified after the Meiji Restoration and before that time, purification was conducted using a variety of methods. Examples include seclusion within a shrine (sanrō), use of 'pure fire' (bekka) to cook the ritualists' food, bathing in a river or the sea (misogi), and rinsing the hands and mouth with water (temizu). Implements used include small wands of paper streamers (kirinusa), paper dolls (hitogata), and rice (sanmai). A number of rites exist in which these implements continue to be used.

— Mogi Sadasumi
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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