國學院大學
國學院大學デジタルミュージアム

Encyclopedia of Shinto

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  • 5. Rites and Festivals
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  • Rituals in Okinawa and Amami

Title Text
1 Akamata Kuromata A pair of grass-clad, masked deities believed to bring yuu (happiness associated with fecundity, fertility, and the like) from Niraasuku (the word for Nirai-kanai, "the Other World," in the local dia
2 Hinukan "Fire deity." A folk belief spread throughout Amami and Okinawa. the original objects of worship as suggested by the variant name umichimon (lit., "honored three things") were three fieldstones, whic
3 Izaihō A festival held on Kudaka Island, Okinawa Prefecture, during the year of the horse (once every 12 years) from the 15th to the 18th of the 11th lunar month. Prayers (ugandate) are begun a month before
4 Munchū A type of patrilinear group found primarily on the main island of Okinawa, based on the recognition of a common ancestor. Munchū emerged out of the late 17th century drive by the Ryūkyū kingdom to s
5 Nirai-kanai The name for the other world across the sea (or, on the seabed) where the deities dwell, and from where they bring both good fortune and catastrophe to the human world. Belief in this realm is found
6 Noro The senior female celebrant in villages in Amami and Okinawa. Noro means "to pray" or "to report to the deities," and also refers to the person who engages in those activities.  Norokumoi and norokumo
7 Obotsu-kagura A term used in a region that stretches from Amami to the Okinawa archipelago that refers to the other world where the kami dwell. The words obotsu and kagura have basically the same meaning and are u
8 Omoro There are many varieties of ancient songs found in the area between Amami and Yaeyama. Omoro are a type of song that were sung between the 12th and the beginning of the 17th centuries in Amami and th
9 Onarigami In Okinawa there is the belief that women possess spiritual power; sisters, referred to as onarigami, use their power to spiritually protect their brothers, called umiki. When there are no sisters, p
10 Ryūkyū Shintō The term Ryūkyū Shintō is an all-embracing term frequently used to refer not only to the Shrine Shintō (see The History of Shrines and Shintō) transferred (kanjō) from the mainland since the medieval
11 Ryūkyū mythology Two types of creation myth can be found in the Ryūkyūs: the court myth contained in the histories compiled by the Shuri court and the folk myths circulating in Amami, Okinawa, Miyako and Yaeyama. The
12 Sanjinsō This word can also be written with Chinese characters that read sanzesō (三世相) in standard Japanese.  In Okinawa it refers to a fortune-teller, who can also be called munushiri (Jp monoshiri, "knower
13 Utaki "Honored mountain." A sacred space in Okinawan villages where a deity similar to a village tutelary (see chinjugami) on the mainland is enshrined or to which it descends, and where people interact wi
14 Yuta Spiritual practitioners found in Amami and the main island of Okinawa. They can enter a state of possession during which they communicate with deities and spirits of the dead. In the process, they ma