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Nagoshi

Cultural Quintessence

Japan In-depth

Kateigaho International Edition

Nagoshi
Summer passing

Nagoshi, literally "summer passing" refers to getting through the sultry summer months in good health. Besides problems of debilitating weather, human beings also commit many misdeeds in everyday life, often unintentionally, which can pollute their spirits. Through ceremonies of purification, particular ritual acts and the use of amulets or talismans, spiritual balance is believed to be restored and preserved.

Chinowa Kuguri

Minazuki-no Ooharai

Yatori-no Shinji

Chinowa Kuguri

A procession of priests pass through a ring of chigaya, a river grass whose vivid green color and fragrance act as purifiers. On this day, or another in latter June, many parishioners will also make this ritual summer passage.


Minazuki-no Ooharai

Shinto purification by hito-gata utilizes a human-shaped paper doll which a worshiper rubs over the body and blows breath upon to transfer to it any illness or impurity. It is then inscribed with name and age and returned to the shrine with a small money offering. At Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine, priests bundle these dolls together and place them in small rush boats to be set adrift in the river, thereby symbolically casting away any negative influences.

Minazuki-no Ooharai
Dates: June 30
Place: Iwashimizu Hachimangu,30 Yawata Takabo,Yawata-shi,Kyoto
Tel. 075-981-3001 (General Affairs Office of Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine)

Yatori-no Shinji

On the last night of summer, in early August by traditional reckoning, Shimogamo Shrine celebrates the community's safe passage through that perilous hot season with Nagoshi Shinji rites. Fifty sacred arrow-like talismans, yatori-no ikushi, are set in the middle of Mitarashi Pond on shrine grounds. As the priests cast away parishioners' purifying hito-gata, young men dressed in loincloths rush into the water to claim one of the talismans, and with it the promise of good fortune, health and longevity.

Yatori-no Shinji
Dates: August 6
Place: Shimogamo Jinja,59 Izumigawa-cho,Shimogamo,Sakyo-ku,Kyoto
Tel. 075-781-0010 (Shimogamo shrine)



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