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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Kanmisosai (Mikami Shrine)
A rite held on November 15 in which a robe is presented to the saijin (enshrined deity) of Mikami Shrine in Yasu Town, Yasu County, Shiga Prefecture. The gūji (chief priest) offers norito (prayers), presents a robe and performs a sacred dance (kagura) called the sakaki no mai. The kanmiso robe is a two and a half meter length of silk dyed with chestnut tree bark and a variety of sumac. In the past both the kannushi (priests) and ichi (shrine maidens, see miko) were said to have cut out the sleeves, collar, skirt and torso, which were then sowed together by the ichi. This is draped over a young branch of chestnut and offered to the kami. Sessha and massha (auxiliary and branch shrines) cut out Mino paper robes, drape them on sakaki branches, and offer them to the kami. Formerly, there was a fire-lighting rite on November 15, followed by the kanmiso ceremony.
       At Atsuta Jingū in Atsuta Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture the festival on May 13 is called the onzosai (sacred robe festival). A procession of shinshoku (priests) carrying silk thread and cloth offer a sacred robe to the kami.
       At Shiromi Jinja in Saito City, Miyazaki Prefecture a sacred robe-changing rite occurs in which the robe of the shintai (in this case, an early Han Dynasty mirror) is changed unbeknownst to festival participants. This occurs prior to the kagura festival, which is held on December 14.
       In the same prefecture at Mera Jinja of Ogawa, Mera Village, Koyu County, a kagura festival is held in mid-December. At the beginning of the festival the priests climb to the top of the mountain to the place of confinement where Iwanaganohime is enshrined. They remove the shinzō (divine image) from the hokora (small shrine) and change the old robe for a new robe made of washi (Japanese-style paper) and silk floss. This is called kanmisogae (changing of the divine robe).

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