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
Ageuma shinji
"Sacred horse rite". Performed at the Tado Shrine on May 4 and 5 at Tado Jinja in Tado-chō, Kuwana-gun, Mie prefecture, the rite takes its name from the tradition of having horses run up the steep slope along the stone stairway leading to the shrine. Six of the seven participating districts appoint children of around twelve years of age as riders, while the seventh district chooses a "divine child" (shinji), who has to observe a period of strict purificatory abstinence. On the morning of the fifth, following a "sake cup" ritual and the ceremony for welcoming the shinji, the youth dismounts and horses are driven up the slope. Horses that start slipping back are pulled and pushed up the incline. It is believed that the harvest will be abundant in years when many horses manage to reach the end of the top of the slope.
The teppō matsuri (gun festival) held on February 15 at the Hachiman Shrine in Iida, Ogano-chō, Chichibu-gun, Saitama Prefecture is also called ageuma matsuri, as horses are made to run up a steep slope near the shrine.
On the first Saturday and Sunday in April an ageuma rite is held at the Inabe Shrine in Tōin-chō, Inabe-gun, Mie Prefecture. Six youths from six districts ride up a steep slope wearing warrior hats and coats. Since it is believed that the harvest will be abundant for districts whose horses make it to the end of the slope, participants try to push the horses as hard as they can.
— Mogi Sakae

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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