Showing posts with label New Year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Year. Show all posts


Tamakae exchanging balls


Ritual of exchanging balls (tamakae shinji)

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


tamakae matsuri, tamakae sai 玉替祭 (たまかえまつり)
festival of exchanging balls

tamakae shinji 玉替神事(たまかえしんじ)
ritual of exchanging balls

At the shrine Koora Taisha 高良大社 Kora Taisha
in Kurume, Fukuoka. 久留米福岡

In modern times, people may also buy a lucky lot (o-mikuji 御籖)
to test their good luck for the new year.

You can see the gold and silver auspicious tama balls, the famous
. kanju manju 干珠満珠 tide jewels .

- quote -
Kora Taisha Shrine
is a prestigious, and the largest shrine in the region as the first shrine in Chikugo 筑後. It is an Engishiki-nai Myojin Taisha (a shrine dedicated to specific gods under the Engishiki Code), and one of the former second-ranked, larger shrines.
Its dedicated god, Kora Tamatare no Mikoto, is said to have been bestowed the highest rank by the Imperial Court. Its sanctuary was built in 400 A.D. (First Year of Emperor Richu) for the first time while older ritual sites remain in a mountain.
Kora Taisha Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Kyushu, and used to be honored as a mausoleum of Kyushu. It is especially deeply worshiped by people in the Chikugo and Hizen Areas. Worshipers are famously thought to be blessed with warding off bad luck and prolonging life. The current sanctuary is designated as a significant cultural asset by the government, and is one of the largest sanctuaries in Kyushu.
- source : -

. Legends from Chikugo 筑後 .


The Tamakae shinji (Ball-exchanging ritual)
takes place on the evening of January 15 at Kōra Taisha in Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture. The ritual occurs with the presentation of a golden ball and a silver ball as well as offerings (shinsen) before the kami (shinzen).

At eleven o'clock a person carrying the two balls is placed in the completely darkened keidai (shrine grounds), and the worshippers exchange wooden balls with one another in the dark. After about an hour the lights are turned back on; the persons holding the gold and silver ball serves in an offering and thanksgiving ritual (hōsai) on the following morning.
The two balls are regarded as the two balls that control tidal ebb and flow.

A Tamakae shinji is also held at Miyajidake Jinja in Tsuyazaki Town, Munakata County, Fukuoka Prefecture, on January 21.
Similar rituals are also the
Tamatorisai (Ball-taking ritual) held at Itsukushima Jinja in Miyajima Town, Saeki County, Hiroshima Prefecture, and another
Tamatorisai held on April 16 at Kamato Jinja in Daizaifu City, Fukuoka Prefecture.
source : Mogi Sakae, Kokugakuin, 2006


Shrine Kora Taisha 高良大社(こうらたいしゃ)

- - - - - HP of the Shrine - Kōra taisha 1 Miimachi, Kurume, Fukuoka
- source : -

Look for more photos :
source : robounohan

The shrine is also famous for the azalea festifal in May.
Koorazan tsutsuji matsuri 高良山つつじ祭り

The shrine was built in the 5th century.
Rebuilding took place in 1600, and now it is an
"Important Cultural Asset".

At a height of 312 meters (1,024 feet), Mt. Kora stands on the westernmost edge of the Mino Mountain Range. On this mountain you will find Kora Taisha Shrine, a former National Shrine and a major shrine in the Chikugo region.

The construction of Kora Shrine is said to have taken place in 400 AD; it was ordained one of the highest ranking shrines in 897 AD and had an elevated rank within the Engishiki (a book of laws and regulations) as a shrine dedicated to gods worshipped at critical times.

Kora Taisha is a historical shrine in that its power of influence during the middle ages came to compete with that of central government officials sent to oversee the province. It is also known for being the place that received the prayers of Prince Kanenaga Shinno, who established a residence at the base of the mountain in the Nanboku-cho Period (1336 – 1392).

The main sanctuary, offering hall and worship hall that we see today were built by the third Kurume feudal lord Arima Yoritoshi, and each is has been deemed an Important Cultural Asset by the government.

In addition, Kora Shrine is the home to
“The Tale of the Heike Ink Volume” (Government Designated Important Cultural Asset),
“The Origins of Kora Taisha Shrine Colored Silk Hanging Scrolls” (Municipal Designated Cultural Asset), and other such treasures.
A forest of a moso bamboo species (a designated National Natural Treasure), Kogoishi Rock (Government Designated Important Cultural Asset and Historical Site), and other precious sites are also preserved on Mt. Kora.
source :

“Kora-san Kunchi” Festival
Kora Taisha Shrine’s “Kora-san Kunchi” Festival
is held from October 9 through 12 every year.

It is the shrine’s biggest festival that proclaims the presence of the Shinto god Kora. During this three day festival, Kora Taisha Shrine comes alive with traditional cultural events like the Lion Dance and Furyu (a musical and dance performing art), Japanese archery exhibitions, and dedicatory performances of various martial arts!
. . . . . and
Kora Taisha Shrine’s Kawatarisai Festival (Hekokaki Matsuri Festival)
Azalea Festival at Kora Taisha Shrine
Annual Festival at Ichiebisusha Shrine
Kora Taisha Shrine’s “Kangetsusai” Festival
Kurume Forest Azalea Park..
source :


Warding off evil at the New Year ceremonies

Azalea Park Photos
source : kourasan/tsutsuji

Amulet to WIN 勝 - with bow and arrow

Homepage of the Shrine
source :

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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Exchanging auspicious things as kigo

. hanakae 花換祭 / 花換祭り Flower-exchanging festival .

. usokae うそ替え exchanging bullfinches .

Festivals where things are exchanged
by Mogi Sakae

usokae shinji , Bullfinch-exchanging rite.
A rite held during the night of January seventh at the shrine Dazaifu tenmangū in Dazaifu City, Fukuoka prefecture. Bullfinches (uso) made of wood are used as charms against fire. People take their bullfinches that are covered with the preceding year's grime to the Tenman shrine, and everyone exchanges bullfinches with anyone else freely, saying "kaemashō, kaemashō " ("Let's trade, let's trade"). During this excitement the shinshoku (shrine priests) lose themselves among the crowd of worshippers and walk about surreptitiously passing out the shrine's twelve bullfinches. Those who get one of the gold bullfinches are said to receive good fortune for the year.

The festival called onisube, famous for protection from fire, is observed after the bullfinch festival. Two groups of nearly one hundred people each are divided into the "demon guards" and the "smoke handlers." The latter light a huge mound of fresh pine piled up outside of the shrine hall with sacred fire (or by rubbing two sticks together), and fan the smoke into the shrine with an enormous fan. On the inside the demon guards beat the slat board walls with wooden mallets. Then, drawn by torches, the smoke-covered demons try to go around the shrine, but the shrine priests throw parched beans at them. People strike the demon masks that the performers wear with staffs called utsue. After going around the outside and inside of the shrine through the smoke and ash the demons come to a stop.
The usokae shinji at the shrine Kamadotenjinsha in Kōtō-ku, Tokyo is said to have been brought from Dazaifutenmangū.

On January fifth there is an usokae matsuri also at the shrine Meihamatenmangū in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka prefecture. Similar to the bullfinch rites is the hatokaeshi shinji (dove-exchanging rite) at the shrine Usajingu in Usa City, Ōita prefecture.

There is a tamakaeshi matsuri (gem-exchanging festival) on January twenty-first in which tama gems are traded at Miyajidake Jinja, Munakata-gun, Fukuoka prefecture.
In addition, there are festivals such as the okinjokaeshi matsuri in Hinagu, Ashikita-gun, Kumamoto prefecture, in which dolls are traded,
and the hanakae matsuri (flower-exchanging festival) at the shrine Kanezakigū in Tsuruga City, Fukui prefecture.
source : Mogi Sakae /


otoko ni mo yawaraki te no hira tamakae sai

men also have
a soft palm of the hand -
festival of exchanging balls

Yanagida Mei 柳田芽衣





source : kamomeza

Related words

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

***** . Hekokaki Festival へこかき祭り.
高良大社 Kora Taisha, Fukuoka

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NiinoYuki Matsuri Nagano


Snow festival (yuki matsuri )

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


Niino no yukimatsuri 新野の雪祭 (にいののゆきまつり)
snow festival at Niino

dengaku matsuri 田楽祭/雪祭り Dengaku festival
yuki matsuri 田楽祭/雪祭り Snowfestival

At Shimoina-gun Anan-cho in Shinano, Tenryu-Village, Nagano

At night from January 14 to 15.
At the shrine Izu Jinja 伊豆神社

Traditional dances like Dengaku are performed. These dances are said to preceede the Noh and Kyogen performances of later times.

Loads of snow are made to the deities of the shrine.
If it snows on this day, the harvest of the coming year will be good.
More than 19 masked dancers take part in the performances. One rides a paper horse., another a paper cow and others.

source : niino/index.html


The festival of Niino is very rare as well as Sakanbe winter festival. Dengaku and Sarugaku, original forms of Noh dances, are held all night through.

The fabulous masks look like Picasso’s paintings.
The most important god is Saiho who dances in peculiar fashion purifying rice seeds and promising good harvest.
, a partner of Saiho, plays comical role. Modoki derived from an old Japanese verb “modoku” or mimic.
All together thirteen dances are performed and the festival concludes with the last performance ta-asobi or field play, in which the outcome of the year is predicted. The festival is held in snowy freezing night. Villagers believe that snow will bring about a bumper crop for the coming year and call out joyfully;
We got a best of luck of heavy snow! Yukimatsuri was earlier called Dengaku matsuri.

Look at more photos!
source :

. Sakanbe no fuyu matsuri 坂部の冬祭
Winter Festival in Sakanbe (Sakabe) .


... Dengaku, rustic Japanese celebrations that can be classified into two types:
dengaku that developed as a musical accompaniment to rice planting observances
the dengaku dances that developed in conjunction with sangaku.

. Dengaku (田楽) .

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das Winter-Festival in NIINO

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

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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Nishi Shichijo Taue Kyoto


Rice planting ceremony at Nishi Shichijo village

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


Nishi Shichijoo taue shinji
西七条田植神事 (にししちじょうたうえしんじ)
rice planting ceremony at Nishi Shichijo village

At the old village of Shichijoomura in Kadono koori, Kyoto
(Yamashina part of Kyoto)
Kadono-gun · Kyoto-shi Ukyo-ku

A ceremony to invite a good harvest for the coming year.

In the night from the 15th to the 16th of the first lunar month,
two men clad as farmers, wearing simple masks, and one man clad as a woman called "oyase おやせ" walk around the village, from home to home, to perform the movements of rice planting.
The woman wore a round basket with special shime decorations on her head.
korinaki コリナキ
She also wore a special red robe, usually for a wedding ceremony.

This was thought to invoke the plants to grow strong and healthy.

This ritual had been performed until around 1905, when it was abolished.


. WKD : planting rice in the paddies, taue 田植 .

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Nearby is a famous old temple, Engakuji 円覚寺


source : www.kagemarukun






Nishi shichijoo taue shinji no akai bebe

the red robe
of the Nishishichijo
rice planting ritual

Ariyama Takehiko 有山武彦

source : kamomeza

Related words

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

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Atsuta Shrine Festivals

. Aichi Prefecture - Festivals .

Atsuta Shrine Festivals

***** Location: Nagoya
***** Season: See below
***** Category: Observance


Atsuta Shrine (熱田神宮, Atsuta-jingū)
is a Shinto shrine traditionally believed to have been established during the reign of Emperor Keikō (71-130) located in Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in Japan.
The shrine is familiarly known as Atsuta-Sama (Venerable Atsuta) or simply as Miya (the Shrine). Since ancient times, it has been especially revered, ranking with the Great Shrine of Ise.

The Kojiki explains that Atsuta Shingu Shrine was originally founded to house the imperial treasure sword,
Kusanagi no Tsurugi 草薙の剣

According to traditional sources, Yamato Takeru died in the 43rd year of Emperor Keiko's reign (景行天皇43年). The possessions of the dead prince were gathered together along with the sword Kusanagi; and his widow venerated his memory in a shrine at her home. Sometime later, these relics and the sacred sword were moved to the current location of the Atsuta Shrine. Nihonshoki explains that this move occurred in the 51st year of Keiko's reign, but shrine tradition also dates this event in the 1st year of Emperor Chūai's reign.

From 1872 through 1946, the Kasuga Shrine was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha (官幣大社), meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines.

This Shinto shrine is dedicated to the veneration of Atsuta-no-Ōokami. Also enshrined are the "Five Great Gods of Atsuta", all of whom are connected with the legendary narratives of the sacred sword --
Takehaya Susanoo-no-mikoto,
Yamato Takeru-no-mikoto,
Miyasu-hime no-mikoto, and
Take Inadane-no-mikoto.

Over 70 ceremonies and festivals are held annually at the shrine.

Hatsu-Ebisu (January 5):
Seeking good fortune in the new year from Ebisu, the God of Fortune.

Yodameshi Shinji (January 7):
The projected annual rainfall for the coming year is prophesized by measuring the amount of water in a pot kept underneath the floor of the Eastern Treasure House.

Touka Shinji (January 11):
see kigo below

Hosha Shinji (January 15):
Ceremony which involves shooting an arrow at a wooden piece called chigi fixed at the center of a huge mark.

Bugaku Shinji (May 1):
A ceremonial dance from the Heian era is performed outdoors on a red painted stage.

Eyoudo Shinji (May 4):
A festival to commemorate the return of the sacred sword in the reign of Emperor Tenji.

Shinyo-Togyo Shinji (May 5):
A festival in which portable shrine (mikoshi) is carried in a formal procession to the Western Gate, where ceremonies and prayers for the security of the Imperial Palace are performed in the open air.
In the Meiji period and Taisho period, this procession moved in sober and solemn silence. The ceremony at the gate was brief, lasting only 20 minutes; and then the mikoshi and its attendants returned into the Shrine precincts. Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa provided a new mikoshi and a complete set of robes and other accouterments for this festival on the occasion of repairs to the shrine in the 1457-1459 (Chōroku 1-3).

Rei Sai (June 5):
see kigo below
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

kencha sai 献茶際 tea offering ceremony
kenka sai 献花祭 flower offering ceremony


kigo for mid-summer

Atsuta matsuri 熱田祭 (あつたまつり) Atsuta festival
shoobu matsuri 尚武祭(しょうぶまつり)"military arts festival"
..... shoobu e 尚武会(しょうぶえ)

makiwarabune 巻藁船(まきわらぶね)ships with lanterns
(makiwara is a roll of straw, used for practising Japanese archery. On the ships, this straw rolls are used to fix the lanterns.)

The main festival of this shrine, on June 5.
It used to be on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, like the tango seasonal festival.

Portable tabernacles (mikoshi) in various styles are carried along the approaches to the shrine; many mikoshi are carried by children, who parade to the sound of drums and bamboo festival flutes.
At night, groups of 365 lanterns on huge boats (makiwarabune) float down the river and are then displayed at the East and West Gate of the shrine.
A firework lights the night sky too.

This festival commemorates an Imperial proclamation (semmyō) issued in 1872 (Meiji 5). After 1906 (Meiji 39), exhibitions of judo, fencing (kendo), and archery (kyudo) are presented for the gratification of the kami. Acrobats, artists and dancers join the parade and many stalls sell local specialities along the road.


kigo for the New Year

Atsuta tooka shinji
熱田踏歌神事 (あつたとうかしんじ)
Atsuta shrine dance and song ceremony

January 11

CLICK for more photos

A variation on an annual ceremony (Tooka no sechi-e) of the Imperial Court in the Heian period (10th-12th Century)
On this day, the shrine dance becomes a prayer in movement hoping for bumper crops of the year.

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.Tooka Sechi-e 踏歌節会 Dance and song festival
at shrine Sumiyoshi Jinja in Osaka
A ritual of the same name is held on January 11 at Atsuta Jingu in Atsuta Ward, Nagoya.


Miya Juku : Station Nr. 41 at the old Tokaido Road

Atsuta shinji (熱田神事) Atsuta Shrine Ceremony
woodblock by Hiroshige Utagawa

. . . CLICK here for more Photos !

Miya-juku (宮宿, Miya-juku) was the forty-first of the fifty-three stations of the Tōkaidō. It is located in the Atsuta-ku section of the city of Nagoya, in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. It was six km from Narumi-juku, the preceding post station.
In addition to being a post station on the Tōkaidō, it was also part of the Minoji (a minor route which runs to Tarui-juku on the Nakasendō) and the Saya Kaidō 佐屋. As a result, it had the most hatago lodgings of any post station along the Tōkaidō, in addition to its two honjin main lodgings for feudal lords.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. The 53 stations of the Tokaido 東海道五十三次 .

From Atsuta there were two possibilities to reach the next station, Kuwana.
One was via Saya and then by boat on the river Kisogawa 木曽川.
See Matsuo Basho below.


FOOD served at Atsuta Jingu

. "Miya Kishimen 宮きしめん" Kishimen shrine noodles

. Fuji Dango 藤団子 Wisteria Dumplings


Kiyomizu Sha 清水社 Kiyomizu Shrine
in the woods around 熱田神宮 Atsuta Jingu

Behind the shrine is the sacred spring, dedicated to
. Mizuha no me no kami 罔象女神 / 弥都波能売神 .
Mizuhanome ミヅハノメ
o shimizu お清水 sacred clear water

There was once a samurai with an eye disease. When he washed his eyes with this spring water, he got healed soon. ME no kami - 目 means eyes.

The water helps you obtain a beautiful skin if you wash your face with the spring water.

If you pour water on a stone in the spring with a dipper, hitting three times, your wish will come true.

. biyoo jisha 美容寺社 praying for beauty .

. Amulets for Eye Disease .


Matsuo Basho visited here on his trip "Nozarashi Kiko" 野ざらし紀行.
He wrote

I went to Atsuta to worship.
The grounds of the shrine were utterly in ruins, the earthen wall collapsed and covered with clumps of weeds. In one place a rope marked the remains of a smaller shrine, in another was a stone with the name of a god now unworshipped. All around, mugwort and longing fern grew wild. Somehow the place drew my heart, more than if it had been splendidly maintained.

shinobu sae karete mochi kau yadori kana

even the fern of longing
is withered; buying rice-cakes
at an inn

Tr. Barnhill

This hokku has the cut marker KANA at the end of line 3.

even the shinobu fern has withered
and I buy mochi ricecakes
at the inn . . . 

Tr. Gabi Greve

. WKD : shinobu, shinobugusa 忍ぶ草 Hare's-foot fern .
Davallia mariesii
kigo for all autumn

- - - - -

togi naosu kagami mo kiyoshi yuki no hana
togi-naosu kagami mo kiyoshi yuki no hana

freshly polished,
the sacred mirror too is clear:
blossoms of snow

Tr. Barnhill

Polished anew
the holy mirror too is clear–
blossoms of snow

Tr. Shirane

. shinkyoo 神鏡 the "divine mirror" .
They remind of the mikusa no kamudakara 三種の神器, sanshu no shingi, the famous three imperial regalia.
At the shrine in Atsuta, the sword Kusanagi (草薙劍, Kusanagi no Tsurugi) is kept and maybe a replica of the divine mirror Yata no Kagami 八咫鏡.

Basho's disciple in Atsuta :
. - Hayashi Tooyoo 桐葉 Hayashi Toyo - .

"Nozarashi Kiko" 野ざらし紀行
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

Saya Kaidoo 佐屋街道 The Saya Road

Atsuta Jingu 熱田神宮
Iwatsuka Shuku 岩塚宿
Manba Shuku 万場宿
Kamori Shuku 神守宿
Saya Shuku 佐屋宿
Kuwana Shuku 桑名宿

source : kaidolist/sayakaido

From Atsuta there were two possibilities to reach the next station of the Tokaido, Kuwana.
One was via Saya 佐屋 and then by boat on the river Kisogawa 木曽川.
Basho choose this road on his last trip to Kamigata.

He stayed at the home of Hermit Yamada 陰士山田 on the 25th day of the 5th lunar month in 1694 元禄7年5月25日. Together with other disciples they had a haikai meeting.

kuina naku to hito no ieba ya Saya domari

"the water rail calls there”
people say, and so
staying over at Saya

Tr. Barnhill

This is a greeting poem for his host Yamada.
The cut marker YA is at the end of line 2.

Now there is also a memorial mount with a stone of the Basho poem.
kuinazuka 水鶏塚(くいなつか)


shinryoku no Atsuta ni ogamu bakari nari

at Atsuta shrine
in all this fresh green
I can only pray

Yamamoto Shigeo
source :

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Imigomori retreat


Retreat on the day of the wild boar (imigomori )

***** Location: Kakogawa, Hyogo
***** Season: New Year
***** Category: Observance


imigomori 亥巳籠 (いみごもり)
ritual retreat
from the first day of the wild boar (i 亥)
to the day of the snake (mi 巳)

Kako no monoshizume 加古の物鎮(かこのものしずめ)
seclusion at Kakogawa

also spelled oigomori 亥巳籠(おいごもり)
and migomori 身籠 . 妊 means pregnant.

at the shrine Hioka jinja 日岡神社 in Kakogawa, Hyogo

People put up a new shimenawa rope for the shrine and place sacred branches in front of the sanctuary. From the hour of the wild boar to the hour of the snake seven days later they try to make no noise.

It is a pun on the sound of IMI (imi 忌み)
a period of respectful mourning or
a period of paying great respect to the deities.

Legend says that the mother of Yamato Takeru,
Princess Inahi ooiratsume no mikoto 稲日大郎姫命
(いなひおおいらつめのみこと)"Oiratsume of Inabi"
gave birth to the royal twins on the day of the snake at the end of this period.
So people keep quiet to make her birthing easier.

The priests of the shrine prepare special meals for the deities during this period.

On the last day, special arare sweets are distributed
(年の実 - fruit of the year)
and ritual shoting occurs in the shrine compound (matoi 的射).

After this ritual, spring was welcomed in the old province of Harima 播磨.

There are other igomori rituals in Japan.


Igomori matsuri
Seclusion festival.

A festival held from March eleventh to thirteenth at Tosa Jinja in Kōchi City, Kōchi prefecture. From the evening of March first the gūji (head priest) and shinshoku (shrine priests) enter into a period of monoimi (purificatory abstinence) On the afternoon of the twelfth a pair of chopsticks made from peeled haji (wax tree) branches is added to a container filled with steamed brown rice called mikinehan (thrice-pounded rice).
A rite is performed in which a special shinsen (sacred meal) is offered to the kami. Early on the morning of the thirteenth after the main ritual observance, the priests partake of a naorai (sacred communal meal). The head priest grasps some of the steamed brown rice that had been removed from its place of offering with chopsticks that have been broken in two and eats it. Then the other priests eat a portion of the brown rice in turn. In previous times after the ritual observance in front of the sessha (branch shrine) Nishigozensha, the priest is said to have performed a rice planting rite called saitsukuri.

At Hisamaru Jinja in Kanbe, Tahara-chō, Atsumi-gun, Aichi prefecture, on the day of the monkey in January there was an
igomori matsuri
(written 忌籠祭).
The priests moved the shintai (sacred object) to which the kami's spirit had been transferred, carrying it next to the breast, and performed cold water ablutions in the sea. Since residents were not permitted to watch the movement of object and priests from the shrine to the sea and back again, the rite came to be called the nematsuri (sleeping festival) because the residents closed their doors and took to their beds. According to tradition, the people had to be discrete because the kami (saijin) worshipped at the shrine was originally a senior court noble who did not want to be seen because of his unsightly appearance.

At Hioka Jinja in Kakogawa City, Hyōgo prefecture there is an imigomori (亥巳籠, "boar and snake seclusion") festival that lasts from the first day of the boar of the first lunar month until the day of the snake
- this igomori (亥巳籠) rite puns on the igomori (忌籠) festival at Hisamaru Jinja.
The character "i" in the latter case is usually read "imi," meaning purificatory abstinence or taboo .
If the observances of the taboo were insufficient, Mt. Hioka was said to rumble and batsu (divine punishment) would follow.
source : Mogi Sakae, Kokugakuin


Hioka jinja 日岡神社

This shrine is famous for making prayers for a save delivery (anzan).

. . . CLICK here for Photos of ema !

ema votive tablet for the year of the Tiger

Deities in residence

天伊佐佐比古命 Amenoisasa hiko no mikoto
Ame no Isasa Hiko no Mikoto
豊玉比売命 Toyotamahime
鵜草葺不合尊 Ugayafukiaezu no mikoto 盧茲草葺不合尊
father of Jinmu Tenno 神武天皇
天照皇大御神 Amaterasu Omikami
市杵島比売命 Ichikishimahime

. Anzan o-Mamori, 安産お守り
Talismans for Safe Delivery .

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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. imi 忌み / 斎み taboo in Shintoism .


A son of Emperor Keikō, and father to Emperor Chūai.
Yamatotakeru's mother was Ōiratsume of Inabi in Harima, the daughter of Wakatakekibitsuhiko, ancestor of the clan known as Kibi no Omi.

. Yamato Takeru, Yamatotakeru 日本武尊 .


mi no koku 巳の刻 the double-hour of the snake

Kitagawa Utamaro - Hour of the Snake
from the series Twelve Hours in the Yoshiwara

Hour of the snake, from 9 to 11 in the morning.
This is the time when snakes begin to leave their habitats.

- quote -
Traditionally in Japan, the day was divided into twelve intervals, each named after a zodiacal sign. This way of telling time provided Utamaro with a clever schema for a series depicting the life of the Yoshiwara courtesan. A cartouche in the shape of a pillar clock contains the title of the series, and the individual hours are announced on the bell portion. The present print depicts the hour of the snake (9-11 a.m.), with a courtesan emerging from her morning lustrations to receive a refreshing cup of tea from a servant.

The image of pampered courtesans in prints like this belies the sometimes harsh reality of their lives. Many courtesans were purchased from poor families as young girls, through a network of scouts that scoured the countryside for potential candidates. While successful courtesans enjoyed an education that brought not only literacy and social skills, but also many physical comforts, they also incurred substantial financial obligations. Courtesans had daily quotas of clients (which if they failed to meet, resulted in heavy penalties), and it was common for them to be in a state of perpetual indebtedness that resulted in virtual slavery.
- source : -


giving birth
to a special haiku -
wild boar and snake

Gabi Greve, January 2012

Related words

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Hakusan Festivals


Hakusan Shrine Festivals

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


There are many Hakusan shrines 白山神社 in Japan.
see below about Hakusan belief.

Shirayama Hongu Shrine 白山本宮
(Hakusan Hongu Shrine
or Hakusan-ji Temple 白山寺)
Shirayama Hime Jinja 白山比咩神社(しらやまひめじんじゃ)
located on Mt. Gozenpo 御前峰
headquarter of over 2000 branch shrines and temples.

. Hakusan Shrine in Tokyo .


Nagataki Hakusan Jinja muikasai 長滝白山神社六日祭
Festival on the 6th day at Nagataki Hakusan Shrine

source :

hana ubai matsrui 花奪い祭
"festival of taking blossoms by force"

People try to get a paper blossom from the decoration hung up at the ceiling.
It will bring good luck and fortune for the coming year.
The paper blossoms are cherry, chrysanthemum, camellia, peonies and poppies.

The famous dance 長滝の延年の舞 is performed.
This festival is an important folk cultural asset.

NagatakiJinja 長滝神社

The shrine is located in Gifu, Gujo Town, Hakucho village.

This shrine is one of the most important Hakusan shrines in Japan, best known for its Hakusan Mandala.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Since Meiji, the shrine and temple have been separated
Hakusan Chuuguu Chooryuuji 白山中宮長滝寺
Temple Hakusan Chugu Choryu-Ji


Another important festival of this shrine is held on May 5
dededen matsuri でででん祭り DedeDen festival
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Famous for its drums, which make the sound DEDEDE . . .


Nonomiya matsuri (No no Miya)箟宮祭 (ののみやまつり)
Nonomiya festival

Nonotake Hakusan matsuri
Mount Nonotake Hakusan Festival

At the temple Koopooji 箟峯寺 Kopo-Ji in Wakuyacho village, Northern Miyagi
Fourth Sunday of January.

An arrow-shooting ritual.
Two children clad in ancient robes and hats have to shoot12 arrows in exchange with a priest.
Depending on the hits, the weather and a good or bad harvest of the year can be forecast.

At the Kannon Hall 観音堂 of the temple
Hakusan Shinji 白山神事 Hakusan ritual

This is one of the oldest rituals in Japan, involving the Hakusan belief of mountain worship.

The region is famous for ancient findings of gold mines.


Shrine Hakusan Jinja 白山神社
Hakusan shinkoo白山信仰 Hakusan belief

First an animistic belief, now featured by Tendai Esoteric Buddhism.


Hakusan Shinkō
Hakusan is the collective name given to the three mountains Gozenpō, Ōnanjimine, and Bessan located at the intersection of the regions Kaga, Echizen, and Mino.
Hakusan shinkō is the faith based on the deification of these mountains.

Local farmers believed that Hakusan was a mountain inhabited by "water kami" (suijin), dragon kami (ryūjin), and the spirits of the dead.
Fishermen of the Japan Sea worshipped Hakusan as a kami of fishing and seafaring.

The Jinmyōchō section of the Engishiki records a "Shirayamahime Jinja" in Ishikawagun, Kaga (Tsurugimachi, Ishikawa Prefecture), but after the medieval period when "kami and Buddha syncretism" (shinbutsu shūgū) developed, it became customary to read "shirayama" as "hakusan" (both are readings of the characters 白山).

There are various theories as to the preponderance of Hakusan shrines (jinja or gongen) in eastern Japan in areas where outcastes (hisabetsu) live, but the reason for this are unknown. There have been various "enshrined kami" (saijin) claimed for the shrine, but currently Kukurihime no kami (i.e. Shirayamahime no ōkami) is the main kami worshipped alongside Izanagi no kami and Izanami no kami.

Kukurihime no kami 菊理姫命 is worshipped at the shrine okumiya on Mount Gozenpō, Ōnamuchi no kami is enshrined at Ōnanji Jinja on Mount Ōnanjimine, and Ōyamatsumi no kami is worshipped at Bessan Jinja on Mount Bessan.

The Shirayama no ki, however, states that the indigenous "land master kami" (jinushigami) gave his land to Hakusan Gongen, and moved to Mount Bessan. This story is thought to reflect the expanded power of people who worshipped the newly Buddhist-styled Hakusan Gongen.
Hakusan was a "mountain where the kami abides" (shintaisan) (which was taboo to ascend), but along with the development of Shugendō people began to ascend the mountain. Legend claims that the "mountain was opened" (kaisan) by Taichō Shōnin at the beginning of the Nara Period, but his name does not appear in sources from that era. However, his name does appear in such Heian Period documents as the Taichō kashō denki and the Shirayama no ki, and therefore we can surmise that there were already people climbing the mountain for worship in the Heian Period.

The Shirayama no ki was copied 1439 but the original manuscript is believed to date back to the Heian Period. According to this text, Mount Gozenpō, where Kukurihime no kami is enshrined, was referred to by the name Zenjō (meditation), the kami was called Hakusan Myōri Daibosatsu, the "original Buddhist deity" (honjibutu) of Kukurihime no kami was the Eleven-faced Kannon (Ekadasamukha Avalokitesvara), Ōnamuchi no kami was the Buddha Amida (Amitābha), and Ōyamatsumi no kami was Shō Kannon (Ārya-Avalokitesvara). The text also records the legend that if one drinks water from the lake Midorigaike, where Hakusan Myōri Daibosatsu was supposedly born, one would achieve the "merit" (riyaku) of an extended, long life.

Documents place the site of Shirayamahime Jinja in Kaga, but there were three routes for climbing the mountain, from Hakusan Kagababa, Hakusan Echizenbaba, and Hakusan Minobaba, indicating that pilgrimages could start from each of the three regions that the mountain straddles. The mountain pilgrimage route is called a zenjōdō (path of meditation), the entrances to the mountain trails are called baba, and there were also places to worship from a distance.

Along the pilgrimage route are shrines called Hakusan Shichisha (the Seven Shrines of Hakusan). Women were permitted pilgrimage as far as the center shrine (Chūgū). We can imagine that many people made pilgrimages to the shrine as a result of the use of such materials as the Shirayama no ki and Hakusan sankei mandala paintings for preaching about the merits of Hakusan. Lodging facilities were established at the baba sites to accommodate pilgrims, and a system of Hakusan "associations" (kō) developed, in part due to the activities of oshi.
Thus the cult of Hakusan spread.
source : Nogami Takahiro, Kokugakuin, 2007


Mark Schumacher has all the details:

HAKUSAN 白山 (lit. white mountain)
is the collective name for a number of sacred Japanese mountains that converge along the borders of four prefectures (Ishigawa, Fukui, Gifu, and Toyama) in northwest Honshū island. From early on, Hakusan was known as a "mountain realm inhabited by kami" (shintaisan 神体山). The character "shin" 神 is also read "kami," which means Shintō deity. The mountains were once taboo to climb, but with the subsequent growth of Japan's Shugendō cult of ascetic mountain practice, Hakusan became a popular site of worship, meditation, pilgrimage, and ascetic training.The deification and worship of Hakusan's mountain kami is known as
Hakusan Shinkō 白山信仰 (lit. = Hakusan faith),
and today 2000+ nationwide Shirayama Jinja Shrines 白山神社 (also read Hakusan Shrines) are devoted to this faith.
The characters for Hakusan are also read "Shirayama."

Hakusan is undeniably one of Japan's most important and ancient sites of religious mountain worship (sangaku shūkyō 山岳宗). The Hakusan mountains are celebrated in the Man'yōshū 万葉集 (Japan's oldest anthology of verse compiled in the 8th century). Over the centuries, Hakusan became a stronghold of Shintō-Buddhist syncretism, a major pilgrimage site, a center of ascetic practice for the Shugendō 修験道 cult of mountain worship, and the focus of artwork known as the Hakusan Mandala. Today Hakusan is considered one of Japan's three most sacred mountain sites (Nihon Sanreizan 三霊山 or Nihon Sanmeisan 三名山).
The other two are Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama.

Sacred Hakusan Mountains

Gozenpō 御前峰
Ōnanjimine 大汝峰
Bessan 別山
Kengamine 剣ヶ峰
Ōkurayama 大倉山
Sannomine 三ノ峰

Hakusan Pilgrimage

Hakusan Deities

Shirayamahime no Kami 白山比売
(aka Kukurihime no Kami 菊理媛神 aka
Hakusan Myōri Daibosatsu 白山妙理大菩薩)

Kukurihime no Kami 菊理媛神

Hakusan Myōri Gongen 白山妙理権現
Izanagi no Mikoto (伊邪那岐命 or 伊奘諾尊 or 伊耶那岐命) and
Izanami no Mikoto (伊邪那美命 or 伊奘冉尊 or 伊耶那美命).

Ōnamuchi no Kami 大穴牟遅神 (or 大己貴神)
Ōyamatsumi no Kami 大山津見神 (or 大山祇)

Hakusan Shichi Gongen 白山七権現
Hakusan Sansho Gongen 白山三所権現

Betsuzan Daigyōji 別山大行事

7 important Hakusan Shrines

Hakusan Mandala 白山曼荼羅
At Nagataki Hakusan

source : - Mark Schumacher

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Hata Uji to Hakusan Jinja 秦氏と白山神社の関係
. The Hata Clan 秦氏 Hata Uji .
and the Korean and Christian connection

Taichoo 泰澄 (682 - 767) Shugendo priest
He was the second son of the samurai family of Mikami no yasuzumi 三神安角(みかみのやすずみ)and became a monk at age 14.
In 117年 he climbed mount Hakusan in Echizen province and became a "super Bosatsu"
myoori daibosatsu 妙理大菩薩.

In 717, the great Buddhist monk and teacher, Taicho Daishi, guided by a woodcutter Gongoro Sasakiri, climbed high up Mount Hakusan, an isolated sacred mountain, in order to meditate.
One night, while Taicho was sleeping after beginning his rigorous regime of spiritual exercises, the guardian deity of Mount Hakusan appeared to him in a dream and said:
‘Lying about twenty-three kilometers from the foot of the mountain is a village called Awazu. There you will find an underground spring of hot water with wondrous, curative powers, which have been bestowed upon it by Yakushi Nyorai, the Divine Healer. However, the villagers are unaware of this blessing. Go down from the mountain and go to Awazu. With the people of the village, unearth the hot spring and it will serve them forever.’”
- - - - - - quote - divinehumanity - - - - -

. Hakusanboo 白山坊 Hakusan-Bo, Hakusanbo .
Taichō 泰澄上人 Saint Taicho Shonin / Taicho-Daishi 泰澄大師


.Hakusan Guu 白山宮足王社 Hakusan shrine and
Ashioo Sha 足王社and Ashi-O Shrine "for the deity of strong legs" .

愛知県日進市本郷町宮下519番地 - Aichi, Nisshin town


The various Hakusan shrines are often visited by haiku groups.


Nou Hakusan Jinja 能生白山神社

This Hakusan shrine in itoigawa, Niigata was visited by
Matsuo Basho
and there is now a stone memorial.

新潟県:西頸城郡/能生町 Nou-Machi

akebono ya kiri ni uzumaku kane no koe

morning light -
the sound of the temple bell
swirls in the autumn fog

Matsuo Basho, 1689, July 11

Shioji no kane 汐路の鐘, 越後能生社汐路の名鐘
"The bell for ebb and flood"
Legend knows that this bell made a sound when the tide was coming up, so that the villagers know it and the children can take care on the beach.
The original bell was lost in a fire, but later replaced from the leftovers of bronze that could be found.
It is 107 cm high and has a diameter of 68 cm.
From the inscription of the bell it is known that it belonged to
Hakusan Gongen temple Taihei-Ji
It was made in 1499.
Now it is at Itoigawa 糸魚川市大字能生7239(白山神社).

When Yoshitsune fled to the North of Japan around 1185, the village had about 7 homes of fishermen.
Basho wrote a few haiku at the village, while he stayed with Tamaya Goroemon 玉や五郎兵衛.

source :

Discussion of the haiku by
- Larry Bole -

The voice of the bell
Eddies through the mist,
In the morning twilight.

--Basho, trans. Blyth

Blyth comments:
"The sound of the bell has taken to it the form of the mist, lingering here, hurrying there, trailing and swirling through the damp air.
Compare Onitsura's verse, Vol. II, page 91."

tookitaru kane no ayumi ya harugasumi

The bell from far away,--
How it moves along in its coming
Through the spring haze!

Onitsura, trans. Blyth


. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .

hakusan no yuki kira-kira to atsusa kana

in this heat
snow on Mt. Hakusan
shining, shining

Tr. Chris Drake

This summer hokku is from early in the 6th month (July) of 1819, the year Issa evokes in My Year (Oraga haru), soon before Issa's beloved baby daughter died on 6/21. In 1824 Issa wrote another version in which he uses teka-teka to, 'shining, glistening, lustrous' instead of kira-kira to.

Mount Hakusan (2,702 m, 8,865 ft.) is the highest mountain to the southwest of Issa's hometown area, and he is apparently able to see the long, high ridge that forms its peak in the distance. The mountain may get its name ("White Mountain") from the snow that remains even in the summer. Along with Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama, Mt. Hakusan was in Issa's time one of the three most sacred mountains in Japan, and Yamabushi mountain monks spread belief in the deity of the mountain, a female god named Shirayama-hime no Kami, around Japan. Even today there are more than 2,700 shrines around Japan devoted to worshiping the mountain, which is believed to be the body of Shirayama-hime, who is accompanied there by the two primal parent deities in Japanese mythology, Izanami and Izanaki (also called Izanagi).

In Issa's time both Shinto believers and Buddhists (often the same people) made pilgrimages to the mountain, and Buddhists believed the female mountain deity was a manifestation of the androgynous bodhisattva Kannon. The Zen master Dogen saw the Hakusan deity in a vision once, and he prayed to her as the shamanic protector of Eiheiji, the large Soto Zen temple he founded. The mountain was also revered by the haikai poet Chiyojo, who, as Issa surely knew, was born not far from Mt. Hakusan. In the present hokku Mt. Hakusan, with its snow shining brightly in the strong summer sun, is not simply a physical mountain but a luminous visionary presence, and in spite of the summer heat its coolness comes across the distances and makes Issa feel cooler.

This hokku is worth reading out loud in Japanese just to hear the sound. The play of a, i, and u vowels and the repetition of k- in the sequence is striking and adds to the sensation of brightness.

Here is a photo of Mt. Hakusan in summer:

Chris Drake

Related words

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

. Hakusan Shrines in the WKD .
Shirayama jinja, Hakusan jinja 白山神社

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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Shichikoozan Pilgrimage


Shichikozan Pilgrimage (shichikoozan mairi)

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


shichikoozan mairi 七高山詣 (しちこうざんまいり)
Shichikozan pilgrimage

lit. pilgrimage to the High Mountains

A pilgrimage in Nagasaki town, to seven mountains, during the time from January 2 to January 15. The seven mountains represent the seven most important shrines of Japan.
Similar to the pilgrimage to the temples of the Seven Gods of Good Luck in Edo.

. even Gods of Good Luck 七福神 .

The townspeople put on straw sandals (waraji) and walk to the seven "Mountains", temples and shrines around town.
They combined it with visits to eateries and had a good time on the road, which sometimes lead through forests and small mountain trails.

source : sitikousan.html
Check this link for more photos.

Nagasaki Shichikosan Mairi 長崎七高山巡り

Konpira san 金比羅山
Shichimen san 七面山
Hookazan 烽火山
Akibayama 秋葉山
Buzenboo 豊前坊
Hikosan 彦山
Atagoyama 愛宕山 (or Iwaya san 岩屋山)

The highest mountain on this trip was 400 meters, the whole tour took about 12 kilometers.

In the local dialect it is pronounced
chigosan チゴサン

The name shichikoozan 七高山 is an auspicious pun with
shichigosan 七五三, the festival for children in November.

. Shichigosan (shichi go san 七五三) .
Seven-Five-Three Festival


Offering White Fish to the magistrate of Nagasaki

source :

White fish from the fish traps at Urakami yana 浦上簗(白魚簗)was a speciality.
After visiting the Seven Mountains, the Nagasaki townsfolk would finally end up in Urakami to have a party.
In Nagasaki, these fish were best when only 2 - 2.5 cm long.
Whet it got warmer, they started to grow, so during the New Year holidays they were best.

The small fish were put in a festive barrel (tsunodaru 角樽) coated with black laquer, so as not to damage their white skin when carrying them to the Nagasaki Magistrate (nagasaki bugyoo). They should have been offered to the Shogun in Edo, but that was simply impossible, so the Magistrate got them to taste.
After that offering, fishing of the White Fish was forbidden until next year.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Konpira san 金比羅山 .

. Shichimen san 七面山 .

Hookazan 烽火山

. Akiba san 秋葉山 .

. Buzenboo 豊前坊
Hikosan 彦山 .

.Atago san 愛宕山 .
Atago san 愛宕山 (or Iwaya san 岩屋山)


Shichikoozan -
and then a bowl
of Chanpon soup

Gabi Greve, New Year 2011

長崎 ちゃんぽん Nagasaki Chanpon

. Local Dishes from Nagasaki .

Related words

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

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