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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Momote shinji
This archery rite takes place on April 19 at Susa Jinja in Sada Town, Hikawa County of Shimane Prefecture. Momote means shooting an arrow one hundred times (two arrows are shot simultaneously). On the day before, is a kami appearance parade (shinkō gyōretsu) modeled after the myth of Susanoo-no-mikoto having an audience with Amaterasu ōmikami. On the nineteenth after the seasonal festival (reisai), festive bamboo (imidake) are installed and a sacred straw rope (shimenawa) are set up on the riverbank of the river Soga near the shrine. New straw matting (komo) is laid down and a target is built on the other side of the river. First, Shinto priests (shinshoku) pick up the bows and arrows, praying to the four directions for purification. After this they shoot two arrows at the target. Once this is done there is an archery event for general archers. There used to be a rice paddy that belonging to the shrine (shinden) called matomen to cover the expenses for this event. This rite can often be seen at shrines in the Shikoku and San'in regions.
       A momote shinji takes place at Himeji Shrine in Ketaka Town, Ketaka County, Tottori Prefecture on the fourth Sunday of April. First, a Shinto priest (shinshoku), wearing a mask and carrying a halberd, prays to the four directions and performs purification rituals. Then, sacred implement (torimono) is replaced with a bow, he notches an arrow, and the same act is performed. Twelve arrows, symbolizing a whole year, are shot at the target to pray for rich harvest of the five grains and elimination of disease.

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