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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Hama-ori Matsuri
Going to the Shore Festival. A rite held on July 15 at Samukawa Shrine (Samukawa jinja) in Samukawa Town, Kōzaku District, Kanagawa Prefecture. Legend has it that this rite began in 1839 when the fisherman of Chigasaki rescued the sacred form of the divinity (shintai) that had been carried away by the waters of the Banyū River. The divine excursion of the spirit begins at three o'clock in the morning of the day of the festival, starting at the shrine and proceeds to the Nango seashore at Chigasaki. On the way there, the procession meets up with the spiritual palanquins (mi-koshi) of some thirty shrines at the formerly associated shrine (sessha) Tsurumine Hachiman Shrine. These all proceed to the shore in single file, with the mi-koshi of Samukawa Shrine at the center. After a boisterous parade, the palanquins are purified in the sea and set down. A ceremony is performed with the first light of day. On the divine return, there is a folk custom of tossing burning bundles of wheat at the palanquins.
       On the Saturday and Sunday closest to the tenth day of the eighth lunar month, a naked festival is held at Yanahime Shrine in Iwata City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Preceding this festival is a hama-ori ceremony held on the shoreline of Same Island. A himorogi (type of sacred stand) is placed on the beach and rites are performed. After the rites, the townspeople purify themselves by entering the ocean. This ceremony is called hamagori.
       At Ōkunitama Shrine (Ōkunitama jinja) at Fuchū City, Tokyo Prefecture, before the Kurayami Festival (Kurayami matsuri) on May 5, priests and office-holders go to Ebara Shrine, Shinagawa Ward on April 30. After ceremonies following ancient customs, a rite called the Shinagawa Maritime Purification Ceremony is held aboard boats offshore at Shinagawa. The seawater scooped up at that time is used as purifying water during the festival.
       The Hamade (Going down to the shore) Rite held on September 13 at Futami-no-Takagi seashore ahead of the Kanname Festival at the Grand Shrines of Ise (Ise jingū) is also a hama-ori rite.
       There is a hama-ori religious function on August 10 at Awa Shrine (Awa jinja) in Tateyama City, Chiba Prefecture. It is also called o-hamadashi. At Aihama Bay two sacred palanquins (mi-koshi) are transported and a solemnbeach ceremony. Shrine priestess (Miko) dances and lion dances (shishi mai) are offered. The procession for the palanquin reaches almost one kilometer in length.
       The hama-ori festival held once every twelve years at Hie Shrine, Kashima Town, Sōma District, Fukushima Prefecture is a lavish festival. More than one thousand colorfully costumed people accompany the sacred palanquin along a four-kilometer route to the seashore at Karasuzaki Shore. At the shore a large bamboo frame is made and beginning with hōzai dances, many ritual arts are offered.

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