Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集

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Text Disaster. In ancient times, wazawai was regarded as a type of fault (tsumi) to be removed by harae. It was thought that anyone who had been exposed to disaster should undergo physical and spiritual purification in order to return to the community of those participating in religious rites. Harae was, in this sense, viewed as a magic force capable of transforming disaster into blessing.