Futomani divination


Futomani festival (futomani matsuri)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: New Year
***** Category: Observance


Futomani matsuri 太占祭 Futomani festival
Futomani sai 太占祭

Third day of the first lunar month.
At shrine Musashi Mitake jinja 武蔵御嶽神社

The shoulderblade of a deer is touched with red-hot iron and the cracks used to read the fortune of the coming year.
This is a secret ritual and not open to the public.

source : blog.hoshinokobeya.com
Only the result of the oracle is given to the people.

This kind of divination with oracle bones comes from China.


The Hotsuma Futomani Divination Chart

Toyoke, lord of the northern provinces (celebrated today as the tutelary deity of the Ise Outer Shrine), drew up a chart using 51 phonetic symbols to represent the 49 deities residing in the heavens. This he presented to his daughter Isanami and her spouse Isanagi, 8th in the line of divine rulers of Japan.

Amateru, son of Isanagi and Isanami, had his nobles compose poems based on Toyoke's chart. From these, he selected 128, which were then set down as the Futomani Book of Divination (the origin of Shinto divination rituals).

The symbols A-U-WA in the inner circle represent Amemiwoya, the creator of heaven and earth.
The Amemiwoya (August Heavenly Ancestor) deity.

source : www.hotsuma.gr.jp

The Hotsuma Tsutae (also Hotuma Tsutaye, 秀真伝)
is an elaborate epic poem of Japanese legendary history which differs substantially from the mainstream version as recorded in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki. Its antiquity is undetermined.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Bokusen  卜占 Divination
A method of divination for determining the divine will or foretelling the outcome of an event.
Today, bokusen most often signifies divination in general which comprises an extremely complex variety of methods. In the original sense of bokusen, however, 卜 depicted the shape of cracking that appears when the bone of an animal or a tortoise shell is heated, whereas 占 meant to report what was interpreted by reading the pattern of that cracking.

Archeological records indicate that, from the end of the Jōmon period or the early Yayoi period, deer-scapula divination (rokuboku 鹿卜) was also conducted in Japan. In this practice, hollows were carved in the underside of the bone of a deer or other large ruminants , the hollows were heated to produce cracking on the bone's other surface, and divination was based on the resulting pattern of the cracks (bokuchō).

The Kiki (both the Kojiki and Nihon shoki) and other sources also refer to this method of divination as futomani. Alongside the archaic divination ritual of kukatachi, futomani was one of two methods of determining the divine will.

Thereafter, "tortoise-shell divination" (kiboku 亀卜), which substituted a tortoise shell for the scapula of a ruminant , became increasingly popular. Both rokuboku and kiboku are thought to have originated in China; similar to China, moreover, kiboku eventually replaced futomani in Japan as well.

Under the ritsuryō system of codified laws, diviners (urabe) were employed by the Jingikan (see Ritsuryō Jingikan) and, whenever a major decision needed to be made at the imperial court and on other occasions, a diviner who had undergone purification would pray to the "deities of the divination courtyard" (uraniwa no kami) and perform kiboku.
From the Kamakura period, however, the practice of this divination method declined greatly. In addition to futomani and kiboku, the Kiki, Man'yōshū, and other texts record various other methods of bokusen.

For example,
"footstep divination" (aura) counts the number of steps walked;
"bird divination" (toriura) interprets the cries of a bird or the direction it flies; and
"evening divination" (yūke),
"bridge divination" (hashiura), and
"roadside divination" (tsujiura) interpret the words of a passerby.

In Study of Correct Divination (Seibokukō), Ban Nobutomo refers to such bokusen methods as "miscellaneous divination" (zassen) and groups them in the same category as divination methods that have the character of a "divine message communicated through a possessed person" (takusen), such as
"koto divination" (kotoura),
"dream divination" (yumeura), and
"song divination" (utaura).

Furthermore, Ban Nobutomo considers orthodox bokusen to consist exclusively of zassen, futomani, and kiboku methods that are mentioned in classical texts and he rejects other methods as lacking legitimacy. In contrast with his assertions that reflect his affiliation with the National Learning (kokugaku) movement, however, "fortune-telling" (ekisen 易占) related to Yin-Yang thought (Onmyōdō 陰陽道) and based on the sexagenary cycle of the Chinese lunar calendar (eto) and The Book of Changes (Zhou yi) had grown increasingly popular since the medieval period. From the early modern period, a divination method called bokuzei 卜筮 became widespread which used a large number of slim bamboo sticks called zeichiku  筮竹 or six four-sided stocks called sangi 算木.
source : Suzuki Kentaro, Kokugakuin 2006


Musashi Mitake jinja 武蔵御嶽神社
176 Mitakesan, Ome, Tokyo - Musashimitake Shrine

. Oome, Ōme 青梅 / おうめ Ome town .

Another festival in Januray at this shrine is the
Ooguchi magami matsuri 大口真神祭り
Wolf Deity Festival

Magami or Oguchi Magami (deity with a great mouth) is the wolf deity.

Once upon a time in the Nara region there was a great old wolf, who had killed and eaten many humans. To appease him he was deified and given deer and wild boars as offerings.
So he learned to tell the difference between human beings, who fed him, and wild animals he could eat. He soon became a protector deity for good people, punishing the bad ones.
He also prevented fire and robbery and was often depicted in ema votive tablets.
With the passing of time, forests became mores sparce and wolves a rarity in our times.

The stone wolf of Mitsumine Shrine, Chichibu

. Kaneko Tohta - Chichibu Wolf Haiku .

ema with wolf and Yamato Takeru
from Hodosan Jinja 宝登山神社

More photos
source : kemono/wolf-shrine

Wolf Deity Amulet

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

Worldwide use

Chinese oracle bones

Oracle bones (kookotsu 甲骨)
are pieces of bone normally from ox scapula or turtle plastron (underside) which were used for divination chiefly during the late Shang Dynasty. The bones were first inscribed with divination in oracle bone script (Chinese: 甲骨文; pinyin: jiǎgǔwén) by using a bronze pin, and then heated until crack lines appeared in which the divinations were read.

However in later Zhou Dynasty, cinnabar/ink and brush became the preferred writing method, resulting in fewer carved inscriptions and often blank oracle bones being unearthed. The oracle bones bear the earliest known significant corpus of ancient Chinese writing, and contain important historical information such as the complete royal genealogy of the Shang dynasty.

When they were discovered and deciphered in the early twentieth century, these records confirmed the existence of the Shang, which some scholars had until then doubted.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Things found on the way


kitchoo no ame no futomani masturi mi ni

auspicious rain
is falling at the Futomani festival
when I go there

Miki Seiun 三枝青雲
source : kamomeza

Related words

***** . NEW YEAR - the complete SAIJIKI

***** . Omikuji みくじ 御籤 sacred lots .

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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