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
Hi-taki no shinji
Bonfire Rite. A ritual with a long tradition, held at Shimomiya Shrine, an auxiliary shrine (sessha) of Aso Shrine (Aso jinja) in Ichinomiya City, Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture. It is said that the origins of Shimomiya Shrine go back to the times when the divinity of Aso, lamenting the damage caused by frost (shimo) to the grain crops, worshiped the kami of frost. On August 19, a portable shrine procession heads from Shimomiya Shrine to the Bonfire Hall (Hitakiden) on August 19. Girls about twelve or thirteen years of age are chosen from parishioner (ujiko) families to tend to the bonfire lit in front of the shrine for sixty continuous days. On September 1, there is a rite called the "Warming", in which offerings of spun silk are presented to the kami. On October 16, the procession of the Shimomiya divinity returns to the main shrine, passing through the Tenjin Wood. This procession is known as the "Raising of the Maidens" (otome-age). On the evening of October 18, a bonfire is again lit at the Bonfire Hall, where shrine officials (shinshoku) and shrine maidens (miko) perform sacred dances (kagura) through the night. At dawn, the miko and young girls perform the Fire Kagura, walking through the embers. This brings the Bonfire Rite to an end. A sumō wrestling contest takes place in front of the shrine.
Other shrines where Bonfire Rites are performed include Yasaka Shrine (Yasaka jinja) in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, on November 1; Kibune Shrine (Kibune jinja) Sakyō Ward, Kyoto City, on November 7, and Hanayama Shrine in Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City, on November 8.
— Mogi Sakae

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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