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:

Okusya, the Konpira Shrine

Due south: Konpira Shrine in Kagawa – Part 4 –

Konpira in Kagawa (4) Konpira Shrine (4) [“Okusha” or “Oku no Yashiro” (Back shrine)] 583 steps to go from the main shrine to here. (1368 steps in total) “Okusha” is also known as “Izutama Jinjya”, Izutama shrine. This shrine was placed near “Ema-den” at first with a different name, but moved to the present location […]

Read Article

Men_(kendo)

Kendo, The Way of the Sword – Kendo Equipment

In our previous post about kendo, we learned about its history. In this post, we will learn about the kendo equipment. As the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) restored kendo and fight against the ban after the declaration of Japan’s independence, they then published “The Concept and Purpose of Kendo”. The Purpose of Kendo Its […]

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

kanji of the year

税 (Zei) – 2014 Kanji of the Year

Every year since 1995, the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society (財団法人日本漢字能力検定協会, Zaidanhōjin Nihon Kanji Nōryoku Kentei Kyōkai), chooses a Kanji of the Year (今年の漢字, Kotoshi no Kanji). The selection is done through national ballot. The character with the most votes, usually related to events happened that year, is announced in a ceremony on December 12 (漢字の日, […]

Read Article

Japanese old hour system

Jyuuni-shi : Chinese Zodiac in Japan -Part 2- (For hour)

Japansese old hour system and “Jyuuni-shi” In the old times, “Jyuuni-shi” was more commonly used, for directions, dates and hours. In addition, Japanese hour system was totally different from the present one. Now those customs are gone, but you can find the traces of them in some words.   [The word “oyatsu”] If you have […]

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

Osechi juubako - laid out

Osechi: Traditional Japanese New Year’s Food

“Shin-nen akemashite omedetou gozaimasu”, Happy New Year to everyone! How did you spend your year end vacation? I guess, everyone is still in their vacation mode. Did you eat osechi during “sanganichi” (三が日)? How was it? Did you know that each dish has its own meaning and significance? For people who are not familiar with osechi, let me […]

Read Article

kendo target areas

Kendo, The Way of The Sword – Kendo Practices

In our previous posts, we learned about the history and equipment used in kendo. In this post, we will learned about kendo practices. It’s estimated that somewhere around 14 million people world-wide are Kendokas, or active practitioners and students of Kendo. Unlike almost every other martial art, Kendo has one global federation, and every country […]

Read Article

karuta

Karuta: Traditional Japanese Playing Cards – Variations

Mastering karuta requires a combination of quick reflexes and memorization. And for the Japanese language learner, karuta also offers the perfect blend of procrastination and productivity, a way to work and play at same time. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text […]

Read Article

Escalator scene shot in Roppongi Hills

Japanese Customs: Riding the Escalator – Tokyo and Osaka-style

One of the things I noticed during my first visit in Japan is the custom of riding an escalator. In my country, I haven’t really thought about which side of the escalator to stand. But when I came here in Japan, I noticed that people stand on one side to give way to other people who are in […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑