Monday, February 3, 2020

Chinowa at Okayama Shrine

Chinowa at Okayama Shrine

A chinowa is a ring made out of a kind of reed/grass that can be found at shrines and is used as a form of purification. You pass through the hoop 3 times to cleanse yourself of sin and pollution.

Traditionally they were set up for the last days of the 6th lunar month, though nowadays they can be found at various times. Their legendary origin is attributed to Susano, the mythical founder of the Izumo culture and polity.

I encountered this one on July 25th at the entrance to Okayama Shrine in downtown Okayama City. Believed to have been founded in the 9th Century, the shrine was located across the river where Okayama Castle now stands and was moved here when the castle was constructed.

Over the years it has accumulated various kami and there are also various sub-shrines in the grounds. Like much of Okayama City it was destroyed by air raids back in the war and is now a modest concrete structure.

Chinowa at Okayama Shrine


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