Understanding Shinto.

by / on July 4, 2013 at 6:27 PM / in Interesting Facts, Kamigyō-ku, Temples-Shrines, Understanding Shinto.

Nagoshi-no-harae, at the Kitano Tenman-gū!

“Great Purification”: On this day people go to a shrine and pass through a chinowa (gate of reed) to be purified of all defilements (kegare) and protected from misfortune. A few days ago it was Nagoshi-no-harae (夏越の祓) or “Summer Purification” at the Kitano Tenman-gū (北野天満宮) in Kyoto! On the last day of the sixth or seventh month (called Nagoshi-no-harae  or […]

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by / on January 4, 2013 at 3:24 PM / in Featured, Fushimi-ku, Interesting Facts, Matsuri-Festival, Shogatsu, Temples-Shrines, Understanding Shinto.

Kagura Dance at Fushimi Inara Taisha in Kyoto!

Yesterday, on the 3rd day of the new year I visited the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto. While there, a shrine maiden performed the Kagura dance accompanied by an ornately painted tsuri-daiko, a Yamagoto and a Yokobue flute. Kagura is the ancient Shinto ritual dance of shamanic origin. The word “kagura” is thought to be a contracted form of kami no […]

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by / on February 11, 2011 at 5:32 PM / in Interesting Facts, Understanding Shinto.

What is Shinto?

A Shinto shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house (“enshrine”) one or more Shinto kami. (Its most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects and not for worship). Although only one word (“shrine”) is used in English, in Japanese Shinto shrines may carry any one of many different, non-equivalent names like gongen, -gū, jinja, […]

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