厄祓い/厄除けと節分の祓(旧正月の祓)Yaku-Barai/Yaku-Yoke: Blessing for Yakudoshi (Ages of Misfortune) and Setsubun-no-Harae: Purify and Recharge your spirit.

January 11, 2021

Setsubun (February 2nd in 2021) is a day before the New Year in the Lunar Calendar, and it is also the day before a new season begins.

Around this time, Japanese people who reach Yakudoshi (Ages of Misfortune) receive blessings for Yaku-Barai/Yaku-Yoke, to get rid of misfortune and yakunan (illness, accident, injury, fight, etc.)

During this time, those who’ve missed Toshikoshi-no-Ōharae and are willing to participate, have a chance to receive Setsubun-no-Harae. It is the same as Toshikoshi-no-Ōharae, a prayer meant to purify and to get rid of misfortune, yakunan, and kegare (withered spirit) as well as recharge the spirit. Setsubun-no-Harae rituals also use hitogata and katashiro the same way they are used in Toshikoshi-no-Ōharae. Setsubun-no-Harae application form and details information are here.

Shinto Shrine of Shusse Inari in America provides Yaku-Barai/Yaku-Yoke and Setsubun-no-Harae services with mystic rituals that have been passed down through generations of the priest’s family.

Yakudoshi are years during a person’s life when many changes may take place in their body and/or environment. As a result, there is higher risk for misfortune. Years in which there is an increased chance for misfortune/challenges are called Yakudoshi, meaning “Critical Years” or "Ages of Misfortune." It is implied from historical texts that Yakudoshi has existed as a custom since the Heian Period in Japan (794 - 1185 CE). 

However, Yakudoshi are not the only years that one needs to take into account. In addition to the designated misfortune year, or “Hon-Yaku,” one must also pay attention to the year before a misfortune year, or “Mae-Yaku,” as well as the year after, or “Ato-Yaku,” in order to avoid misfortune. For this reason, it is necessary to think of Yakudoshi as a three-year period. During this three-year period, people go to Shinto shrines in order to receive blessings from priests to ward off evil and to cleanse themselves of evil influence. People also pray to purify their bad luck and obtain good luck charms to bring about better fortune. 

厄年 Yakudoshi (Ages of Misfortune)

女性Female男性Male
数え年Eastern Age 19 (Born 2003)数え年Eastern Age 25 (Born 1997)
数え年Eastern Age 33 (Born 1989)数え年Eastern Age 42 (Born 1980)
数え年Eastern Age 37 (Born 1985)数え年Eastern Age 61 (Born 1961) (kanreki還暦)
数え年Eastern Age 61 (Born 1961) (kanreki還暦) 

Eastern Age - – adding 1 to your actual age

    Yaku Barai/Yakuyoke service fee donation minimum is $60.00 (which includes one Omamori). The application form is available here.

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