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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Nasubi shinji
This "eggplant ritual" is held on September 27 and 28 at Suga Jinja of Daitō Town, Ōhara County, Shimane Prefecture. After cutting the eggplants in half, participants cut the blossom-end side in four places and offered them at the shrine altar. Eggplants cut in this manner are said to resemble the heads of deer. The priests (kannushi) of the Nakazawa family claim descent from the Suwa deity, and their ancestor is said to have received a division of the deity of Suwa Jinja Shrine (now known as Suwa Taisha) to enshrine at Suga Shrine (see kanjō). In the past, similar to the ontō sai ("Sacred Head Ritual") of the Suwa main shrine (honsha), the heads of real deer were presented as offerings at Suga Jinja. This eggplant ceremony is a vestige of that practice.

— Mogi Sakae
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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