Chinowa Kuguri At Iwanai Shrine
Summer is full of cultural and traditional festivals and events to experience, check out one of the first ones we went to this summer!
What is Chinowa Kuguri?
Chinowa kuguri are great rings made out of wrapped grasses. The rings are erected in Shinto shrines across Japan on June 30 each year and serve as a part of nagoshi no harae, of the "great purification". Shinto shrines have held purification rituals twice a year for centuries with records stretching back beyond the Onin War (1467–1477).
Each purification ritual is said to purify your body and spirit and protect you from misfortune for the coming half-year. The festivals are held on the last days of June and December (the December ritual being part of Oshogatsu or New Year's Eve).
Instructions for passing through the chinowa ring are likely to be written in Japanese at many shrines—you are not likely to find an English sign explaining the ritual. You can see the sign in the fourth photo in the gallery above.
If you go when others are performing it, you can simply get in line and follow along. To perform the purification ritual, simply walk through the ring and circle left back around to pass through again circling right and then circle back left once more before passing through it finally. You circle through the ring three times, left, right, left, before proceeding straight through it.
This event is held every year on the last day of June without fail, so it is one you can always sneak into your June plans. Make sure you keep an eye out for other summer celebrations and festivals like this one on our events page.