Jul. 21, 2023 UPDATE
Nagoshino Shinji- 夏越神事 -
As there are mainly local people attending this event, foreign visitors may feel a bit away.
Japanese only (English website is available)
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PeriodAugust 7th, 2023
Story & Recommendation
Summer purification ceremony held in Shimogamo Shrine in a lively atmosphere
Nagoshino Shinji is a Shinto ritual held in summer in Shimogamo Shrine. The purpose of this ritual is to pay misfortune of half a year and pray for good health. Interesting event is that men will scramble the 50 arrows standing in the pond called Mitarashi-ike. Shimogamo Shrine is deeply connected to arrow as deity who is enshrined in the East Main Hall received the arrow in the river and became pregnant. Then she gave a birth to a deity of Kamigamo Shrine. By this mysterious event, the ritual is also called “Yatori Shinji” meaning “an arrow taking Shinto ritual”. Although the general public cannot attend this event, there are many visitors including women and children who enjoy this lively ritual atmosphere.
First, Shinto prayer is offered in the Main Hall called Mitarashi-sha. Then, paper doll which is a protective charm will be thrown into the pond. At that moment, all the men will jump into the pond and scramble the arrows set in the middle of the pond. During the powerful event, numbers of paper dolls are thrown into the pond and once all of the 50 arrows are taken, the ritual is over.
Imiya is a holy arrow which is believed to have a divine favor for protection, state of the perfect health and long life. Although the arrows that men will scramble are big, small arrows are sold in the precinct of Shimogamo Shrine. They are soaked into the pond in order to receive the divine favor.
Chinowa Kuguri, passing through cogon grass ring
After the Shinto ritual, priests and men will pass through Chinowa, the cogon grass ring. By passing through it, it is believed that your sins of the half year are washed away. When you pass through, it is better to pray for the state of the perfect health.
- Manner & Tips -
Please do not bring back the leaf buds directly from the cogon grass ring. If you wish to bring it back, there is a basket with the leaf buds, so please take it from there.