Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Priests at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine perform Susuharae.


Susuharae, or susuharai, refers to the year-end housecleaning that all "good" Japanese housewives are busy with right now, but the term has an older meaning specifically relating to shrines.


Susu is commonly translated as "dust", but actually refers to a form of spiritual pollution ( tsumi, kegare) that collects particularly in corners. Here the priests are using long pieces of bamboo as brushes to sweep away the susu from the front of the main hall at the shrine in preparation for the new year.

I visited several shrines last weekend in Fukuoka, and they were all busy getting ready for the expected influx of visitors for the first visit of the new year, often the busiest day of the year at many shrines.


  1. Nice video. I have never seen this susuhare live only on TV and internet. Did you get information when they will do susuhare ?

  2. This was 2 days ago on Sunday. Different temples/shrines etc do it on different days during the last 2 weeks of December.