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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Nemurinagashi no shinji
This ritual is held on August 6 at Aso Shrine in Ichinomiya Town, Aso County, Kumamoto Prefecture. After a ceremony at Tazuwara Shrine, which is Aso Shrine's sessha (auxiliary shrine), a group of youths sing rice-planting songs as they are led by a takaharijōchin (a lantern attached to a long staff) and walk to the front of the main shrine's two-storied gate (rōmon). From there, they proceed to the home of the chief priest (gūji), where a small ceremony is performed for them and they again sing the rice-planting songs. Afterwards, they return to the main shrine and sing the songs as a votive offering before the hall of worship (haiden). These rice-planting songs are also sung during the shrine's Tōka matsuri, involving ritual dancing and the performance of ritual songs, the rice-planting ceremony (Otaue shinji), and on other occasions. There are cases in which this ritual is also called Nemuri nagashi matsuri and written as ̲ή, reflecting the interpretation that it ritualizes a summer custom of driving away drowsiness. After this day, the rice-planting songs are not sung for the rest of the year.

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