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
Ohitsuosame shinji
"Filled-tub rite." A rite held on the autumnal equinox at Ikemiya Shrine in Ikenoyama, Hamaoka Township, Ogasa District, Shizuoka Prefecture. On the equinoctial day, as a portable shrine procession (see shinkōsai) makes its way to the opposite shore of Sakuragaike Pond on the grounds of the shrine (keidai), some twenty young men wearing only loincloths enter the pond and swim across to the procession's way station (otabisho). There they receive wooden tubs (ohitsu) packed tightly with cooked red bean rice made with grains taken from the shrine's fields and swim to the center of the pond. Then, as they spin the containers around and around, they turn them upside down and plunge them in the water. Small, five-colored ritual wands (konusa, see ōnusa) have been stuck into the rice in each tub. It is said that one's wishes will be fulfilled if the wands float to the surface. Also, the state of the tubs when they float to the surface after a week to 10 days is treated as a way of divining fortunes; it is regarded as lucky if the tubs are empty and unlucky if any of the red-bean rice remains. More than fifty tubs of rice are offered each year. The young men prepare for this tub-offering ritual by spending seven days in an outbuilding performing water ablutions, using a specially lit cooking flame to avoid defilement, and engaging in purificatory practices. The offerings are said to be for a dragon kami dwelling in the pond. According to legend, this rite began when Kōen Ajari (the tantric master Kōen), teacher of the Buddhist saint Hōnen (founder of Japan's Pure Land sect), changed into a dragon and came to live in this pond. Hōnen later came to this place and offered a rice tub at the shrine's altar for his master's repose. People who come to worship on this day scoop water with a bottomless ladle and offer it into the pond.
— Mogi Sakae

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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