Chinowa

Chinowa or saganuki is a big ring-shaped object made of cogon grass (in Japanese chogoya). It is placed vertically on the path leading to the Shinto temple. Many Japanese temples observe this tradition. The worshippers arriving to the temple pass through the chinowa. It is believed that this act purifies the person from all the bad things one committed in the past plus the bad luck one has been suffering. The rite is known as the “chinowa kuguri”.

Chinowa
Chinowa

It is performed twice a year. According to the lunar calendar, the first time it is on the last day of the sixth month of “minatsuki” (June or July). The second occasion is on the last day of the twelfth month of “shiwasu” (December).

Long time ago similar rings were worn around the waist. It was described so in the old Chronicles of Bingo Province (nowadays known as the Okayama Prefecture). The local hero Somin Shorai was advised by the god Susano no mikoto to wear the ring and that way protect himself from the illness.