Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集

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Text The practice of using water to remove pollution and sin from body and mind. Its origin is found in the myth of the god Izanagi no mikoto (see Izanagi no mikoto and Izanami no mikoto), who purified himself by bathing in the sea after a journey to the land of Yomi. There is a widely practiced form of austerity in which misogi is combined with Buddhist cold water ablutions (mizugori). In Shinto, this is called kessai, and make take the form of a warm bath, splashing cold water over oneself, or washing by the seaside or by a river.

A visitor to a Shinto shrine also performs an act called temizu, the washing of the hands and mouth. In another ceremony called shubatsu, salt is sprinkled. In Japan, people sprinkle salt over themselves after attending a funeral, sprinkle water at the gate of their homes morning and evening, and place small piles of salt at the entrance to restaurants; all these practices stem from misogi. The Japanese customs of washing and bathing are also related to misogi.