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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Rituals in Daily Life
Kaza-matsuri
A village communal ritual conducted on approximately the two-hundred and tenth day of the year, or around "hatsusaku" (first day of the eighth month by the old calendar) in order to avert damaging winds. Also referred to as Kazahimachi. Counting from the beginning of spring (the fourth day of the second month), the two hundred and tenth day falls around September first. In many regions, this is not only the time when rice plants become heavily laden with grain, it is also the time when typhoons strike. Because the strong winds of typhoons often knock over rice stalks, making harvest much more difficult and costly, these wind-calming rituals are often conducted. There are many examples of similar sacred activities also taking place in shrines. One particularly famous example is the Fūjinsai at the Tatsuta Grand Shrine (in Ikoma-gun, Nara Prefecture), first recorded as early as the Nihon shoki, in the Tenmu Emperor's fourth year (675), in the fourth month on the day of the mizunoto ram. On the same day, the shrine Hirose Jinja (in Kita Katsuragi-gun, Nara prefecture) conducts the Ōimisai. Both of these festivals are considered important agricultural festivals that offer prayers for the pacification of the wind and rain, and for the bounty of the five grains. The Tatsuta Grand Shrine's Fūjinsai was originally conducted in April and in July, but moved to the two hundred and tenth and two hundred and twentieth days of the year when the danger of wind damage is highest. There are also places where the Kazamatsuri is conducted in conjunction with harmful bird and insect aversion rituals. In one part of Oita prefecture they conduct the Kazamatsuri on the New Year's Day and the fourth day of the seventh month of the old calendar. In addition, in the northeastern Tōhoku region, there is the Amekaze matsuri in which there is a custom of carrying two dolls, a male and a female, to the borders of the village where they are then burned.

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