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
Komahiki shinji
"Horse leading rite." A rite held on October 15 at Masumida Shrine in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture, to select the horses that will be used in the tōkasai (peach-blossom festival) to be held on April 3 of the following year. The festival calls for 30 official ceremonial horses, and as many as 100 are chosen in the komahiki rite to account for substitutes. The gohei-watashi shinji (the gohei, or ritual wand, presentation rite) is performed October 14, in which ritual wands and other objects are conferred on the horses that will appear in the komahiki rite (gold wands go official ceremonial horse candidates, and white ones go to the substitutes). The komahiki rite begins with a performance of daidai kagura (a sacred artistic rite). At 2 p.m., with heisoku (see gohei) mounted on their saddles each horse is led before the kami for worship. Next, each horse goes through three rounds of testing of their paces following the cues of bells and drums around the shrine grounds (keidai). Finally, each horse is again led past the enshrined kami for worship and is then given a food offering (shinsen) of steamed glutinous white rice with beans (characters read variously as shirokowaii, shiro-okowa, or kowameshi).
— Mogi Sakae

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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