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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » State Rites
  "Distribution of ritual offerings." In the ancient era, the distribution of alms by the Department of Divinities (Jingikan) to officially designated shrines prior to state observances. The alms were used as the ritual offerings to their enshrined deities during the observances. Its first known reference is in the entry for year 670 of Chronicles of Japan (Nihon shoki) which reads: "Beside the mountain well, [they] prepare a resting place for the myriad kami, and distribute the offerings." It also appears in the Engi Shiki procedures for the Kinen sai and Tsukinami sai celebrations, and the distribution of offerings also occurred during the Niiname sai, which was patterned on the Tsukinami sai. According to their roles within the Department of Divinities, the Inbe clan was primarily responsible for expediting the distribution of ritual offerings, while the Nakatomi clan was responsible for administering ritual prayers (norito). Hanpei also occurred at the provincial level, with provincial governments designating and distributing alms to shrines within their jurisdictions in much the same way the Department of Divinities did on a national level. The ceremonies were discontinued with the collapse of the Ritsuryō administrative system.

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