In the middle of the summer, on the last day of the 6th month of the lunar calendar, and also at the end of the year, in some Shinto Shrines takes place a purification ritual with origins in a very old Japanese story.
The legend says that Susanoo-no-Mikoto, kami (god) of sea and storms, as thanks for the hospitality, thought a man how to get rid of an epidemic that broke out in his village, by tying around the waist a ring of woven grass. That’s how the Chinowa ritual got started, and today it signifies purification and clearing of bad luck.
Usually, a large ring made of chigaya cogon grass is placed in front of the shrine, and the worshipers are passing through it, but the grass is not really important: inside the Kumamoto-jo Inari Shrine, next to the Kumamoto Castle, I found this modern Chinowa ring…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: