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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Gomottomosama
Gomottomosama is the vernacular name for the February setsubun festival that is held at Mitsumine Jinja in Ōtaki Village, Chichibu County, Saitama Prefecture. A ritual bean scattering takes place in the haiden on the day before the calendrical beginning of spring (setsubun no hi). Toshiotoko (men born under the same sign of the Chinese zodiac as the current year, or men who are in their yakudoshi, or unlucky year), carry a measuring cup (masu) filled with lucky beans in one hand and a wooden pole or pestle eighty centimeters in length in the other. When they appear, the waiting people cry, "Akuma taisan, banpuku shōrai (Evil spirits begone! Great fortune begin!)," at which point the men respond with a chorus of "Gomottomosama," and scatter the beans with their pestles. Also, there is a setsubun purification ceremony (tsuinashiki) and a performance of the mikomai and yamatomai dances.

— Mogi Sakae
The annual setsubun festival of Mitsumene shrine is called Gomottomosama. In addition to being the name of the festival, Gomottomosama also refers to a wooden pole. This wooden pole has a shimenawa--a rope designating scared space--wrapped about its upper portion and two tangerines hung at its base symbolized the male reproductive organs. Gomottomosama is thought to provide benefits such as a bountiful harvest of the five grains, harmonious spousal relations and, especially, in attempts to conceive a child.

Saitama Prefecture, 2008

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