Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Summer Ritual at Shinto Shrine: “Chinowa-kuguri”

Kibitsu shrine's Torii

When I visited my wife’s parents’ home, I also went to a nearby shrine called Kibitsu shrine.
At that time, an interesting ritual was being held.

I’m going to introduce about it on this post.

“Chinowa-kuguri”

Chinowa-kuguri

The ritual that has been held there is called “Chinowa-kuguri”.
“Chinowa-kuguri” is one of the rites of “Nagoshi-no-harae”, which is held every June to get rid of defilements for the next half year.
People walk through a big ring in the hope of preventing diseases and disasters.

Chinowa

This “Chinowa” is made of cogon grasses wrapped around a big bamboo ring.

This event is popular for families, not only because it is an annual event since the old days but it’s also amusing to pass through the “Chinowa”.

By the way, in the old days, people changed their clothes to new summer clothes at the same time this event is also held.

“Hitogata” (“Katashiro”)

Hitogata

Although the design of “Chinowa” might be different on every shrine, at the shrine I visited, the “Chinowa” has “Hitogata” attached on it.
In ancient times, this “Hitogata” is used as a tool to place curse to others or as a scapegoat to receive someone’s disasters.

Hinamatsuri

For example, there is an event called “Hinamatsuri” which is being held every March 3 in Japan.
This event is celebrated to pray for the growth of young girls.

The origin of this festival goes like this:
In the old days, many babies and children died.
Because of that, people used “Hitogata” as a scapegoat in order to prevent diseases and disasters for their children.

On the other hand, the famous straw dolls for cursing is an example of using “Hitogata” to place curse to other people.
※ There is a rumor that it’s still being done even today.
In this case, “Hitogata” is used the same as voodoo doll.

How to perform “Chinowa-kuguri”

How to perform Chinowa-kuguri

  1. Stand in front of the Chinowa and bow once.
  2. Walk through the ring with your left foot and turn around the ring towards left back to the starting point.
  3. At the starting point, bow once.
  4. Again, walk through the ring but with your right foot and turn around the ring towards right back to the starting point.
  5. At the starting point, bow once.
  6. Again, walk through the ring with your left foot and turn around the ring towards left. (Same in step 2.)
  7. Back in the starting point, bow once.
  8. Walk through the ring with your left foot, but this time, go straight to the altar.
  9. Finally, perform the “Twice bowing, twice clapping and one-time bowing” worship manner.

Those are the steps of “Chinowa-kuguri”.

There are two key points to remember:

  • When you stand in front of the Chinowa, you always have to do a deep bow.
  • You have to walk through and around the ring in left-right-left order, forming a figure 8.

Please note that there might be some differences on “Chinowa-kuguri” ritual depending on the shrine.

Notes

You must not pull out and take the cogon grass of “Chinowa” with you.

This is not a matter of morality.

“Chinowa-kuguri” is a custom to transfer diseases and disasters to the “kaya” (cogon grass).
So, if you bring it home, that means you are taking somebody’s diseases or disasters with you.

About Kibitsu shrine

Kibitsu_shrine

Kibitsu shrine in Okayama City is famous.
But this time, the Kibitsu shrine that I visited is in Fukuyama City.
Kibitsu shrine in Fukuyama City is equally huge as the one in Okayama City. It is ranked as “Ichinomiya”, the highest shrine rank in a province or prefecture.

The following two tabs change content below.

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

shogi pieces

Shogi, The General’s Board Game – History and Origin

In my last series of posts, we learned about the board game Go. Another popular Japanese board is the Shogi. It is also known as the Japanese chess or the General’s Game. In this series, we will learn its history, how to play it, and its influence to popular culture. Origin of “Shogi” The word […]

Read Article

Symphony No.9 in Hiroshima

New Year Holidays in Japan : Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)

The Symphony No. 9, a.k.a. “Choral”, is probably one of the most famous and beloved classical music in Japan. I played the (probably shortened) 4th movement on accordion as a member of a band when I was an elementary school student. (Other music I remember we played are the school song, and theme from “Space […]

Read Article

Gohan Kamehame Wave

Anime: Top 10 moves

Silly at times, but cool most of the time. Signature moves in Japanese anime are very common. You’ll find them in most animes that have a lot of fight scenes, and animes that feature sports. Here’s my top 10 favorite signature moves. My Top 10 Favorite Signature Moves 10. Phantom Shot Character: Tetsuya Kuroko Anime: […]

Read Article

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kyoto: Night Illumination Kiyomizudera

After that nice city stroll, the hunt was on again – the hunt for autumn foliage that is. Earlier that day we started our hunt at northwest part of Kyoto (Kagamiishi Dori) where we found beautiful concentrations of momiji foliage. This time we were set to see one of the best night illuminations in one […]

Read Article

sumo heya

Sumo: More Than Just a Martial Art – Professional Sumo

As noted in our previous posts about sumo, it is a Japanese style of wrestling and Japan’s national sport. It originated in ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto deities. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June […]

Read Article

Go

Let’s Play “Go”! – History of the Board Game Go

The game of ‘Go’ has its origin in China 4,000 years ago. It is more than 1,300 years since ‘Go’ was introduced to Japan. During these centuries, the ancient Chinese form of ‘Go’ has been modified and improved by the Japanese. ‘Go’ as it is played today is an indoor game which has no further […]

Read Article

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Naoshima Art House Project – Part 1

After visiting the port of Miyanoura on the west coast of the island of Naoshima. We decided to visit the port of Honmura located on the islands east coast. Home to the Art House Project. To get around the island tourist could take various forms of transportation such as the bus or rental bikes. Rental […]

Read Article

Kiji2

Japanese Monkey (Part2), and Pheasant related stories

Monkey in Japan Although “saru” is a general word for monkeys, I guess most of Japanese would think it refers to Nihon-zaru, Japanese monkey. It has fluffy coat, red face and red butt. There are many areas where wild monkeys live in Japan. I’ve never seen one, but I saw a warning like “Be careful […]

Read Article

084646

The Princess Who Came From a Bamboo, Princess Kaguya

It was December last year when I had my first time in a Japanese movie theater. The movie we watched was Studio Ghibli’s Kaguya-hime no Monogatari. Though my Japanese is limited, the movie never failed to amazed me somehow. From The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter Kaguya-hime no Monogatari(かぐや姫の物語) or The Tale of Princess Kaguya […]

Read Article

20141011_133610

Omihachiman and the man named William Merrell Vories – Part 3

Who is William Merrell Vories? William Merrell Vories was an american from Leavenworth, Kansas who at a young age of 24 left his country and moved to Japan to teach English at Hachiman Commercial High School and since his arrival at Omihachiman on February 2, 1905, he has called this place his new home. He quickly […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑