Fire, Prayer, and Purification

Early Winter Events and Folk Beliefs in Kyoto

In: Journal of Religion in Japan
Author: Tōru Yagi 1
View More View Less
  • 1 Bukkyō University, Kyoto, Japan

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

Abstract

Kyoto is home to a number of unique year-end festivals. This article focuses on traditions that occur during Shimotsuki and Shiwasu (the eleventh and twelfth months of the old Japanese lunisolar calendar), including the fire festivals of O-hitaki, Niinamesai, and Daikondaki; events that celebrate visiting deities, such as Daishikō; and purification rites of Shintō, Buddhist, and folk tradition, such as Kakure nenbutsu, Butsumyōe, and Sekizoro. Analysis and comparison of these rituals reveals a common motivation for their origin. As the power of the sun wanes with the winter solstice, the people of Kyoto in the past felt a need to reflect on the previous year, cleanse themselves of accumulated sin and misfortune, and pray that the coming year would bring peace, fortune, and a fertile harvest.

  • Butler, Lee. 2005. “ ‘Washing off the Dust’: Baths and Bathing in Late Medieval Japan.” Monumenta Nipponica 60(1): 1–41.

  • Gamō, Masao 蒲生正男, Tsuboi Hirofumi 坪井洋文, Muratake Sei’ichi 村武精一. 1975. Izu shotō: Sedai, saishi, sonraku 伊豆諸島—世代・祭祀・村落. Tokyo: Miraisha.

  • Itō, Hiroyuki 伊藤廣之. 1986. “Daishikō to shimotsuki matsuri” 大師講と霜月祭. In Bukkyō minzokugaku taikei 6 Bukkyō nenjū gyōji 仏教民俗学大系6仏教年中行事, ed. Itō Yuishin 名著出, Tokyo: Meicho Shuppan, 251–266.

  • Imahori, Taitsu 今堀太逸. 1989. “Butsumyōe to ominugui shiki” 仏名会と御身拭式. In Bukkyō gyōji saijiki 12 gatsu: Joya 仏教行事歳時記12月—除夜, ed. Setouchi Jakuchō 瀬戸内寂聴 et al., Tokyo: Daiichi Hōki, 105–112.

  • Yamaji, Kōzō 山路興造. 2009. Kyōto geinō to minzoku no bunkashi 京都芸能と民俗の文化史. Kyoto: Shibunkaku Shuppan.

  • Yamaji, Kōzō 山路興造. 2010. “Sekizorokō” 節季候考. In Nenchū gyōji ronsō: Hinami kiji kara no shuppatsu 年中行事論叢—日次紀事からの出発, ed. Hinami Kiji Kenkyūkai 日次紀事研究会, Tokyo: Iwata Shoin, 11–29.

  • Yagi, Tōru 八木透. 2015. Kyō no matsuri to inori: Miyako no shiki o meguru minzoku 京のまつりと祈り—みやこの四季をめぐる民俗. Kyoto: Shōwadō.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 189 189 11
Full Text Views 45 45 10
PDF Views & Downloads 43 43 16