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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Komahiki shinji
"Horse Leading Ritual." The komahiki shinji takes place an October 15 at Masumida Jinja in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture. In this festival, the horses to be used in the next year's tōkasai (held on April 3) are selected. There are only thirty horses used in the festival, but with need for substitute horses, there can be as many as one hundred horses chosen. On the October 14, in a ritual known as the onusa watashi shinji ("nusa presentation ritual"), the horses selected for use in the festival are presented to the shrine with gold nusa to be attached to their saddles while the substitute horses have white nusa, and other things are presented as well. The festival begins with a performance of daidai kagura. At two o'clock in the afternoon, each horse is presented before the kami for worship with bundles of the nusa (heisoku) on their saddles. At a signal from bells and drums, each horse is brought into the temple precincts (keidai) for three ritual inspections of their paces. At the end of the inspection, the horse is again led to the main shrine for worship and is fed the offerings (shinsen) of steamed glutinous rice with beans (mamegohan).

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