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Calendar of annual rituals


Meiji-sai (Meiji Emperor's Birthday) 明治祭
Hitaki-sai (Harvest Thanksgiving Ritual) 丸山稲荷社火焚祭
Hitaki-sai (Harvest Thanksgiving Ritual) 丸山稲荷社火焚祭


This ritual is held to express our gratitude for the bountiful harvest and pray for good health of worshippers. On this day, many Inari shrines, which enshrine the kami of harvest, conduct Hitaki-sai.

A traditional dance, which is accompanied with simple sounds of Japanese flutes and drums, is also dedicated after the ritual at Maruyama Inari Shrine. Shinto priests of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu have handed it down since the Kamakura era (1185-1333). The dance is called “Kamakura-kagura” and is designated as an intangible cultural asset of Kamakura city.  

※Kami (the Japanese word for Shinto deities or sacred beings)

Shichigosan-kisei-sai (Children's Feast (ages 7, 5, 3)) 七五三祈請祭
Shichigosan-kisei-sai (Children's Feast (ages 7, 5, 3)) 七五三祈請祭


The feast for children aged 7, 5 and 3 is observed on 15th November. Parents bring their three- or five-year-old boys and three- or seven-year-old girls to the local shrine to pray for their safety and a healthy future. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is crowded with many families wearing traditional costume for the celebrations.
Originally there were multiple separate festivals. The celebration for three year olds was called Kamioki (髪置), because this was when children started growing their hair (kami). The festival for five year olds was called Hakamagi (  袴着  ), the ritual of wearing a hakama (rather like long trousers for formal kimono) for the first time. The celebration for seven year olds was called Obitoki ( 帯解 ), a separate ritual of replacing the narrow belt (obi) of a child's kimono with a much wider belt.
Parents have always prayed for the safety, health, happiness and futures of their children, and we continue this tradition.

※Kami (the Japanese word for Shinto deities or sacred beings)

Niiname-sai (First Fruits Ritual) 新嘗祭


At Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, local farmers dedicate the first fruits of their harvest, including rice, vegetables and fruits. On this day, we pray for lasting national prosperity, and express our gratitude for the bountiful harvest.


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