Tag Archives: Shinto

today’s holiday: Hi Matsuri


Hi Matsuri

On the evening of October 22, people light bonfires along the narrow street leading to the Kuramadera Shrine in Kurama, a village in the mountains north of Kyoto, Japan. Fire is a purifying element according to Shinto teachings, and the village is believed to be protected from accidents on this night. Soon after dusk, torches are lit. Even babies are allowed to carry tiny torches made of twigs, while young men carry torches so large it sometimes takes several men to keep them upright. Everyone chants “Sai-rei! Sai-ryo!” (“Festival, good festival!”) as they walk through the streets. More… Discuss

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: HANA MATSURI


Hana Matsuri

Hana Matsuri is a celebration of the Buddha‘s birthday, observed in Buddhist temples throughout Japan, where it is known as Kambutsue. The highlight of the celebration is a ritual known as kambutsue (“ceremony of ‘baptizing’ the Buddha”), in which a tiny bronze statue of the Buddha, standing in an open lotus flower, is anointed with sweet tea. People use a small bamboo ladle to pour the tea, made of hydrangea leaves, over the head of the statue. The custom is supposed to date from the seventh century, when perfume was used, as well as tea. More… Discuss

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TODAY HOLIDAY: KASUGA MATSURI


Kasuga Matsuri

The Kasuga Shrine in Nara is one of the most beautiful and ancient in Japan. Every year on March 13, a festival is held there with elaborate ceremonies and performances that recall the shrine’s heyday. The hiki-uma horse ceremony, in which a sacred horse is led in procession through the streets, and the elegant Yamato-mai dance performed by Shinto women are reminiscent of the culture and customs of the Nara and Heian Eras. Construction of the Kasuga Shrine was started during the Nara period (710-784) and was completed in the first years of the Heian period (794-1185).More… Discuss

 

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Article Of The Day – May 15, 2011: Kojiki – Shinto


Kojiki

Shinto, Japan‘s indigenous religion, cannot be traced to its beginnings because until the 5th century—when Chinese writing was introduced into Japan—the myths and rituals were transmitted orally. Although Shinto has no founder and no official scripture, its mythology and ancient beliefs and customs are collected in the Kojiki—”Record of Ancient Matters.” Prepared under imperial order in the early 8th century, it is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan. What myths does it include? More… Discuss