Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1: 5. Rites and Festivals
カテゴリー2: Shrine Rituals
One division of shrine rites, conducted in the form of major festivals. After the Meiji Restoration, these observances became regulated under government ordinance, and since 1945 they have been specified in the Regulations of Shrine Observances (Jinja saishi kitei) of the Association of Shinto Shrines (jinja honchō). The Regulations divide taisai into reisai, kinensai, niinamesai, shikinensai, chinzasai, senzasai, gōshisai, bunshisai, and rites based on special shrine traditions. The standard for taisai is set by rites with a public character and a long history, such as those involving the transfer of a deity, festivals closely connected to the enshrined deity or the origin of a shrine. The instructions for such rites are set out in the Jinja saishiki, which specifies in detail how the rites are to be conducted. The system of categorizing rites by their content and size goes back to the Ritsuryō period. According to the Jingiryō code for shrine rites, "taishi are rites celebrated during an entire month, while chūshi last three days and shōshi only one day." The rites are differentiated by the length of the period of abstinence that must be observed before it. The only large-scale rite mentioned for its especially important significance is the daijōsai (sokui), which is conducted as part of the ceremonies for imperial accession and is codified in the Engishiki. In the Ordinance of Imperial Household Rites (Kōshitsu saishi rei) of 1908, rites are divided into major (taisai) and minor (shōsai). Taisai are the rites in which "the emperor leads the imperial family and government officials" and include genshisai, kigensetsu, spring and autumn kōreisai, spring and autumn shindensai, Jinmu tennōsai, kannamesai, niinamesai, senteisai (rites for the previous emperor), rites for the previous three generations of emperors, rites for the previous empress and rites for the previous empress dowager. The daijōsai is not prescribed in the Kōshitsu saishirei, but instead in the Ordinance on Ascension to the Throne (tōkyokurei). As a very important rite celebrated only once per imperial reign, the daijōsai is treated in the Ordinance as representing a special category by itself.
— Mogi Sadasumi

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