Japanese Culture@wkend

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夏越の祓:Nagoshi-no-Harae (=Half-of-the-Year Eve Purification)

Mei-Shun and her husband Shin found Chi-no-Wa (=rings to go through) set up at Sodegasaki- and Kiji- Shrines in Gotanda, Tokyo. They are for O-Harae (=great purification) ceremonies to purify your half-year sins; the one held in June is called Nagoshi-no-Harae, while the other in December Toshikoshi-no-Harae. Visit to the nearest shrine is the best, yet submission of katashiro paper dolls toward the shrine could replace your appearance in person.

Actually, we experienced O-Harae for the first time. In front of the main building of Kiji Shrine, an envelope with katashiro enclosed was waiting for us. Only one – the last remaining piece? Thanks a million! The instruction says, “Write down full name and age of your family on the katashiro (green one is for men, red one for women). Pat yourself with it, before spraying three times your breath …” Hmm. The envelope has blanks to fill in with your name and address. That means katashiro would be mailed to you hereafter, every half a year.

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