Complete guide to the highlights of the Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine

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The Hosha Shinji at Atsuta Shrine is a ceremony praying for a bountiful harvest and the removal of disasters, and it takes place in the front courtyard of the Kagura-den. A total of 36 arrows are offered, aimed at a large target with 'Oni' written on the back. The 'chigi' attached to the target is believed to become a talisman for warding off evil, and when the last arrow is shot, worshippers rush towards the target. This article introduces the highlights of the Hosha Shinji at Atsuta Shrine.

For a comprehensive overview of the entire Atsuta Shrine, please refer to 「Highlights and access methods of Atsuta Shrine (Aichi Prefecture)」.

Complete guide to the highlights of the Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine(0)

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Hosha Shinji (2024)

The Hosha Shinji in 2024 was held on January 15th, in the front courtyard of the Kagura-den. The ceremony of reporting to the Hokoku no Gi started at ten in the morning, followed by the Hosha no Gi at one in the afternoon. This time, I witnessed the aHosha no Gi.

When I arrived around 12 noon on the day, people were already lined up at the very front.

Complete guide to the highlights of the Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine(1)

Complete guide to the highlights of the Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine(2)

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The archers and others make their appearance.

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The Hosha Shinji ritual begins. The size of the target is six feet in diameter (about 1.8 meters). The wood pieces attached at the center and around the upper, lower, left, and right sides of the target are called 'chigi', and the arrows are shot towards these chigi.

Complete guide to the highlights of the Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine(6)

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Complete guide to the highlights of the Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine(8)

Two archers each in the shyodachi, nakadachi, and atodachi shoot two arrows each. This is done three times, so a total of 36 arrows are offered.

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Complete guide to the highlights of the Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine(10)

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Points to note when going to collect the chigi

The chigi attached to the center of the target are said to have the effect of warding off evil. As soon as the last arrow is shot, worshippers rush simultaneously towards the target to scramble for the chigi. At this moment, when the last arrow is released, the rope in front of the spectators is unfastened. However, the rope is only unfastened at the part marked by the red line in the following diagram.

Complete guide to the highlights of the Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine(17)

In the actual image, only the rope in the following part is unfastened. There were people lined up at this rope well before the start time. It is prohibited to cross or duck under other ropes to get to the target.

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Complete guide to the highlights of the Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine(19)

If you plan to go for the chigi, please line up behind this rope.

List of photos related to Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine

Please see below for a list of photos related to Hosha Shinji ceremony at Atsuta Shrine.

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Thank you for reading to the end.

( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )