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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Kibune matsuri
Formerly this festival was held on the first day of the fourth and eleventh months at Kibune Jinja in Sakyō Ward, Kyōto City, Kyōto Prefecture. Prior to the Meiji Period, when this shrine had an auxiliary shrine relationship to Kamowakeikazuchi Jinja (also known as Kamikamo Jinja, Upper Kamo Shrine), the festival was observed on a grand scale. In the past, on the day before the festival there used to be a kitchen knife ceremony, and shinsen (sacred offerings) were placed in a chest (karabitsu). Then, together with birds (kakedori), people presented these to the kami on the day of the ceremony. After the ritual offering (hōbei) of nusa (sacred paper strips/streamers) and the intoning of norito (prayers) by the shinshoku (priests) they visited the branch and hilltop shrines and performed hōbei, then returned wearing flowers taken from the mountain peak in their hair. At the midpoint in route between the Kibune and Upper Kamo Shrines a designated person chanted a secret song to which the other priests responded in a repetitive manner. Formerly, during the fourth month festival worshippers used to collect the Japanese Knotweed that grew profusely on the mountain near the shrine in a competition for size and amount, thus leading to the popular name itadori matsuri ("Knotweed Festival"). Vestiges of this ancient festival remain in the annual shin'yo (portable shrine) processional held on June 1, and in the festivals for the changing of the kami's robes (gokōisai) held on April 1 and November 1.

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