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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Mushi-sagashi shinji
A rite searching for Insects and held on August 7 at Miho Shrine (Miho jinja) in Miho-no-seki Town, Yatsuka County, Shimane Prefecture. Shrine maidens (miko) wear old masks and holding sprigs of willow in their right hands and bells in their left hands, offer dances in the four directions to the music of ranbyōshi music. It is said that the masks called shojō and heita were recovered from Biwa Lake by a fisherman of Katata Bay, Shiga prefecture during the Tenshō era (1573-1591). And it is also said they were given to Miho Shrine in 1580 in accordance with a divine message delivered through a dream. These two ancient masks are brought out every other year. Also called O-mushi-boshi.

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