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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Hassaku matsuri
The term hassaku refers to the first day of the eight lunar month and the term hassaku matsuri encompasses a variety of observances held to ask the kami for a plentiful harvest. The hassaku matsuri at Matsu-no-o Shrine (Matsunoo Taisha) in Nishikyō Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture is held on the first Sunday of September-which is actually numerically one month later than the traditional first day of the eight lunar month. The Tanomi shinji (Ĥμ) held on September 13 at Aguchi Shrine in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, is also a hassaku festival, in which local farming households offer the first ears of rice harvested. Likewise, on September 1 Iwakiyama Shrine in Iwaki Town, Naka-Tsugaru County, Aomori Prefecture, and Dewa Sanzan Shrine in Haguro Town, Higashi-Tagawa County, Yamagata Prefecture perform rituals called Tanomosai (̺) to secure a bountiful harvest. Moreover, Ono Shrine in Shiojiri City, Nagano Prefecture, holds a similar ritual on hassaku called Tanomosai (), whereas a Hassaku matsuri is held on hassaku both at Ōhirasan Shrine in Hirai District, Tochigi City, Tochigi Prefecture, and at Ōarai Isozaki Shrine in Ōarai Town, Higashi-Ibaraki County, Ibaraki Prefecture. These and other cases demonstrate the ritualization of the lay custom of offering newly harvested grains to kami on hassaku and "entreating" (tanomu) them for a bountiful harvest.

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