Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1: 5. Rites and Festivals
カテゴリー2: Individual Shrine Observances
Kenchō shinji
"Bird offering rite." Held January 1-3 at Iyahiko Shrine in the village of Iyahiko, Nishikanbara District, Niigata Prefecture. Each evening, a decorative stand (shimadai) upon which wooden sculptures of birds have been mounted is placed before the kami (shinzen) together with food offerings (shinsen). After the festival, the birds are presented to 20 people selected by lottery from among the visitors to the shrine. On the second day only, after the birds have been removed a ceremony takes place to announce assignments for the first ritual archery competition of the year, held on February 7. The events of the third day are the same as the first. The rite was renamed the kenchō shinji in 1910 and the order of events was modified, but people have returned to the original name, yaen shinji. A small kagura performance used to take place, after which wooden incense boxes containing small amounts of boiled rice, daikon radish, and salt were distributed to the shinshoku (priests). Following an evening party for which a meal had been prepared, children who had come to the festival would be made to vie with one another for the wooden birds from decorative stand. There are numerous examples of birds (ke no nikomono or "downy things," in accordance with the early chronicles) being used as offerings, such as the bird offerings (kakedori) presented during the Kasuga Wakamiya-On Festival in Nara.
— Mogi Sakae

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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