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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Hiburi shinji
Fire-Waving Rite. A rite for the sacred marriage between the enshrined deity and rice deity Toshinegami and Hime-gozen. This is held at the San-no-Miya of Aso Shrine (Aso jinja) in Ichinomiya Town, Aso County, Kumamoto Prefecture. In mid- to late March, on a saru (monkey) day in the old calendar, two shrine officials (shinshoku) go to Oimatsu Shrine in Akamizu, Aso Town. An oak with its bark removed is cut from the sacred mountain represents Hime-gozen, and a ceremony to greet the divinities is performed. On the return journey, they receive food stuffs and makeup the effigy using shidogi (a type of mochi). In the evening they arrive at Aso Shrine and the ritual of sacred marriage is performed. Toshi-ne-no-kami and Hime-gozen are placed in sacred palanquins (mi-koshi) and transported through the town where the local people have lined the route to celebrate them, waving in greeting flaming torches (taimatsu) made of bundled grasses (kaya).

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