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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Mitoshiro-e shinji
A religious event held on July 1 at Kamowakeikazuchi Shrine (Kamo-wake-ikazuchi jinja) in Kita Ward, Kyoto city. Mitoshiro are the sacred shrine rice fields (shinden). The festival began in 750 when the court granted one chō of mitoshiro land to each Kamo shrine. In the morning are the ceremonies and in the afternoon there are five Nō plays such as Okina (old man) and Kami-uta (sacred song). In the past, dengaku, kagura, and sarugaku music and dance were also performed. The festival prays for the protection of the crops from pestilence.
       There is also a mitoshiro religious event on August 2 at Kibitsuhiko Shrine (Kibitsuhiko jinja) in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture. A procession makes an offering of music and dance while parading from the shrine to the sacred pond. Rice seedlings are planted in the pond, then food offerings (shinsen) and long-nose masks are offered. After minor festival ceremonies, the food offerings are left as they are and the procession of music and dance returns to the main shrine. It is said this is acting out the beginning of the rice-planting season.

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