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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » State Rites
Fūjin sai
"Wind Deities Festival." A festival of the ancient and medieval eras. Also called Tatsuta Wind Deities Festival. Often referred to collectively together with the Hirose Ōimi Festival (Ōimi sai) as the "Hirose-Tatsuta Festival." A ritual praying for a good harvest and the proper weather conditions for it. The court dispatched imperial ritualists (saishi) to the shrine Tatsuta jinja in Yamato Province (now Ikoma district, Nara Prefecture) to perform the ceremony. The festival was held twice a year, in the fourth and seventh lunar months, on the same day as the Ōimi Festival at the shrine Hirose jinja. In ancient times, it appears that the Tatsuta region was considered the entrance for the west winds blowing into the Yamato basin, likely explaining why such a ritual was held at that particular shrine. One of the so-called "Ritsuryō state rituals" recorded in the Divinities Prescriptions (Jingiryō) and designated one of the "minor festivals" (shōsai) in the Engi Regulations (Engi Shiki), the fūjin sai seems to have been highly regarded among the codified rituals based on the fact that the saishi who performed it were selected from among the lords and court officials of the fifth rank or higher. The ritual began in the seventh century, under the reign of Emperor Tenmu. It was strictly observed throughout the Nara and Heian periods and continued into the medieval period. It was abolished during the Southern and Northern Dynasties period. There is also a theory that both the Fūjin sai and the Ōimi sai were carried out at both the Hirose and Tatsuta shrines.

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