From ancient times, the Japanese people practiced 夏越之祓Nagoshi-no-Harae, a prayer to purify and to rid themselves of the first half of the year’s 厄難yakunan (illness, accident, fight etc…) or “bad luck” and kegare, or “withered spirit”. Over the course of the first half of the year, the energy of a person’s spirit is diminished by tiredness, stress, and other pressures, so Nagoshi-no-Harae rituals are performed every June to cleanse and refresh this energy and recharge the spirit. Shinto Shrine of Shusse Inari in America provides these traditional ceremonies with mystic rituals that have been passed down through the generations of our family.
One such ritual is the use of 人形 hitogata on which have been written the mystic words, “十種神宝Tokusa-no-kamdakara.” Hitogata are slips of paper cut into the shape of a person, and it is believed that the hitogata represents the person concerned. In the Nagoshi-no-Harae ceremony, the hitogata is thought to carry all of that person’s kegare.
[How to use hitogata/katashiro]
1. Download and print out hitogata and/or katashiro from our website.
hitogata download here
Pet katashiro download here
Vehicle katashiro download here
2. Cut out the hitogata and/or katashiro along the outline.
3. Write your name, street address (not PO Box) and age* on the front of hitogata/katashiro.
4. Wipe on the body part one wishes to improve or renew with the hitogata or katashiro.
To use hitogata/Pet katashiro, one suffering from knee pain would wipe the hitogata on their knee, or, if they wish to be smarter, on their head while saying your wishes like “please heal my knee pain, please be smarter.” etc. For pet, rub the pet with the katashiro if possible.
To use vehicle katashiro, wipe the steering wheel while you are saying your wishes like “please no accident, no mechanic issues.” etc…
5. Breathe upon the hitogata/katashiro. (For pet, the pet itself or owner may breathe upon the katashiro. For vehicle, owner or driver should breathe upon the katashiro).
6. Fill out application form, and select the package plan.
Dear international participant(s), we kindly ask that you cover shipping costs for your plan (hitogata plan excluded). Thank you for your understanding. Please note that local customs regulations may prohibit the shipping of Chinowa and rice to some countries.
5. Prepare the donation ceremony fee.
Check: Payable to Shinto Shrine of Shusse Inari in America
6. Mailed (it must reach us no later than June 27th)
*Eastern Age Count.
This year, we have blessed Yaki Be-fun* from offerings, thanks to the donation from Kenmin Foods!!
*What is Yaki Be-fun?