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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Karasade shinji
The rite of sending off or returning the kami at the conclusion of the kamiari masturi (festival of the kami who are present) at Sata Jinja in Sata, Kajima Township, Yatsuka-gun, Shimane Prefecture on November twenty-fifth (Sata Shrine) is known as the Karasade rite. The month when kami from all the provinces gather at Izumo Taisha Izumo Shrine is kamiarizuki, "the month when kami are present" (this month is usually referred to in areas other than Izumo Taisha as kannazuki, "the month of no kamiwhen kami are not present"). In order to send off the kami the priests leave from the shrine in the middle of the night for the pond at the top of Mt. Kannome, the kami sacred mountain of Sata ShrineJinja. The priests face the sea, wrap the nearby shinboku (sacred tree) pine with three thicknessess layers of inoko vines, decorating it with heisoku (sacred paper strips/streamers attached to sticks) and branches of kaniwazakura (a variety of mountain cherry), and offer sacred sake in earthenware. They then stand twelve poles wrapped in sacred paper streamers shimenawa (sacred rope) up in the pond and float boats made of sakaki branches, while intoning "kako, kako." This ceremony is called the "kamis' embarkation." In order to send those kami that did not return following the Karasade ritekarasade shinji, the shinshoku (priests) again climb Mt. Kannome on November thirtieth, where they offer sakaki and heisoku into the mountain pond and perform the same embarkation ceremony. This latter is called the Shiwagami (߿ shiwagami okuri shinji) Rite. Shiwagami, "upper kami" (), can also be written with characters meaning "old kami" (Ϸ), "old" being a play on "shiwa," meaning "wrinkles." During this rite not one word is spoken, nor during the descent from the mountain is there any turning or looking back. See kamiari matsuri.

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