Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集

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Text God of the year, received into the house and worshiped at New Year's. Accounts of this belief appear as early as such classic works as the Engi shiki. A special altar in the house is set aside for the deity, offerings are presented, and prayers are made for abundant harvests. In some regions, the toshigami is viewed as the god of food or the god of agriculture. The deity may appear in the form of an old man and woman. In some parts of Kagoshima Prefecture, young men disguise themselves as old men with white beards on New Year's Eve and distribute gifts of rice cakes to homes where there are young children.