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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » State Rites
Saigusa no matsuri
  A rite conducted in ancient times during the fourth month at the Isagawa Shrine, a subshrine of the Ōmiwa Jinja. It appears in the Jingiryō and hence is an rite of the Ritsuryō ritual system. The name is said to derive from the use of a saigusa flower (a mountain lily; or perhaps ikarigusa or the koshō tree) to decorate barrels of sake used in the ritual. According to the Engishiki, the Jingikan provided tribute to the hafuribe of the Isagawa Shrine for the rites performance there. The origins and significance of the rite are unclear, but the emphasis on sake in the ritual makes clear that there was some important connection to the Ōmiwa Jinja and the Ōmiwa clan. The rite required the participation of the clan head and was not performed when the headship was unclear. The Engishikii ranks the rite as minor, probably reflecting the weakness of the Ōmiwa clan during the Nara period, and it probably died out in the mid-Heian period. The rite referred to in later documents as Isagawa shrines Isagawasai is probably not the same as the Saigusa no matsuri although the two are often conflated.

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