31/01/2015

miko shrine maiden

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miko 巫女 shrine maiden, female shrine attendant
kannagi 巫女 (かんなぎ)
okorago 御子良子 shrine maidens at Ise Shrine




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A general term for a woman possessing the magico-religious power to receive oracles (takusen) from the kami in a state of spirit possession (kamigakari). Nowadays the term generally refers to a woman who assists shrine priests in ritual or clerical work. The word may be written with various characters (巫女、神子、巫子). Among miko there is a significant distinction between those female priests who have historically been attached to a shrine and those who are separate from shrines and either are settled in a village or travel the countryside as magical kitōshi (see kitō). Under the ritsuryō system, in the Jingikan female priests were called mikannagi, while they were called mikanko in the Shoku Nihongi.

In the Wakun no shiori, miko is described as the general term, while female norito performers are referred to as mikanko, and it further explains that miko can be written with different characters. The etymology of the word is unclear, but it may be an abbreviated expression of kamiko, the substance (monozane) in or upon which the kami manifests itself. It can also be thought of as a transformation of the honorific term miko (御子), indicating spiritual power and high birth.

In the past, a variety of related positions were found at different shrines: miyanome at Ōmiwasha, sōnoichi at Atsuta Jingū, itsukiko at Matsuno'o Taisha, monoimi at Kashima Jingū, naishi at Itsukushima Jinja, waka at Shiogama Jinja, and nyobettō at Ideha Jinja (Hagurosan). In ancient times miko acted as ritualists for the kami who possessed magical capabilities, as in the examples of Amenouzume no mikoto, Yamato totohi momoso hime no mikoto, Yamato hime no mikoto, and Empress Jingū. Eventually, however, male kannushi, hafuri, and negi took their place, and miko came to be placed in roles assisting these male ritualists, according to one theory.

Peregrinating and settled miko may be seen historically nationwide, performing magic and kitō (invocations of divine power) or transmitting the words of the dead. These unaffiliated miko exerted a great influence on folk religion and the verbal arts. Such women who serve miko-like functions may still be observed in some areas, and women performing similar functions may also be found in Shinto-derived new religions.
- source : Kokugakuin, Nishimuta Takao



. Autumn Festival in Sakai, Okayama .


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A miko (巫女) is a Shinto term of Japan, indicating a shrine (jinja) maiden or a supplementary priestess who was once likely seen as a shaman but in modern Japanese culture is understood to be an institutionalized role in daily shrine life, trained to perform tasks, ranging from sacred cleansing to performing the Kagura, a sacred dance.
- Physical description
- Definition
- History of Mikoism
- Contemporary miko
. . . The ethnologist Kunio Yanagita (1875–1962), who first studied Japanese female shamans, differentiated them into
jinja miko (神社巫女 or "shrine shamans") who dance with bells and participate in yudate (湯立て or "boiling water") rituals,
kuchiyose miko (口寄せ巫女 or "spirit medium shamans") (itako いたこ) who speak on behalf of the deceased, and
kami uba (神姥 or "god women") who engage in cult worship and invocations (for instance, the Tenrikyo founder Nakayama Miki). . . .
- Miko in popular culture
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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miko suzu, mikosuzu  巫女鈴 ritual bells of a Miko

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巫女鈴 - 17th century ~ Miwa, Nara Prefecture.
The rare suzu contains twelve barrel-shaped crotal bells. A five-lobed metal hand guard with flower motifs and openwork hearts bears a hidden inscription on its underside. It reveals the history and use of the instrument, stating that this Shinto instrument was used by miko (a supplementary priestess) Kuriyama Kamiko for the worship of the Miwa Miyojin deity at Miwa, a town in Soe County, Nara Prefecture. It also bears a date of 1699.



The term suzu refers to two Japanese instruments associated with Shinto ritual:
a round, hollow bell that contains pellets, having a slit on one side or a handheld bell-tree with small crotal bells strung in three levels on a wire. It is said that ringing them calls kami, allowing one to acquire positive power and authority, while repelling evil. A set of bells used in Kagura dance (神楽, "god-entertainment") is called Kagura suzu (神楽鈴, "divine entertainment bells").
Suzu come in many sizes, ranging from tiny ones on good luck charms to large ones at shrine entrances.
- source : facebook

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- Reference : 日本語

- Reference : English


. Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .


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- - - - -  H A I K U  - - - - -


source : www.isekitamikado.com
MIKO 中世の巫女(みこ)



御子良子の一本ゆかし梅の花 
okorago no hitomoto yukashi ume no hana

the shrine maidens
with just one lone tree
of plum blossoms

Tr. Gabi Greve


. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 .
at Ise Jingu 伊勢神宮 Grand Shrine at Ise


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巫女に狐恋する夜寒かな
kannagi ni kitsune koi suru yosamu kana

Shrine-maidens are
Much loved by foxes
In the cold of night.

Tr. McAuley


河内路や東風 吹き送る巫が袖
kawachiji ya kochi fuki okuru miko ga sode

Kawachi Road -
the east wind in spring blows
the sleeves of shrine maidens

Tr. Gabi Greve




巫女町によききぬすます卯月かな
miko machi ni yoki kinu sumasu uzuki kana

Where the shrine maidens dwell
They're washing out their summer clothes:
The Fourth Month is here!

Tr. McAuley


At the shrine maidens' street
ceremonial robes being washed --
early summer.

Tr. Sawa/ Shiffert

The road from Yodo to Kawachi. Now part of Osaka.

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 .
(1715-1783)

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神主のまはりの落葉巫女も掃く
中里北水

木犀や社家の子ゆゑの巫女づとめ
西村数

禰宜吶々巫女蝶々畳替
神尾季羊

舟で来る菖蒲祭の禰宜と巫女
井原久子

巫女が行き花嫁が行く夏木立 小堀紀子
巫女だまりより蒲公英の絮飛べり 飯森茂之
巫女だまり火の熾りゐる淑気かな 中野彰一
巫女となる一と間とざせり寒紅梅 中戸川朝人
巫女に吹く住吉の風の寒の風 米沢吾亦紅
巫女に恋したりままこのしりぬぐひ 加藤三七子
巫女に見ゆ乙女のうれひ花うつぎ 亀井糸游

巫女のみごとりてより春の闇 飯田蛇笏
巫女の初髪吉備津結びなる 細川子生
巫女の剣佩きたる雪月夜 飯田蛇笏 霊芝
巫女の手は衣にかくす里神楽 斉藤夏風
巫女の指細し病葉拾ふとき 原川雀
巫女の振る鈴に白露の闇動く 江田居半
巫女の掌に蚕神(おしら)遊ぶや旱り熔岩 角川源義
巫女の秘む幼き恋や龍の玉 中山輝鈴
巫女の緋は春の水皺に綾なせる 阿部みどり女
巫女の舞ふ鈴の音とほる青茅の輪 池田博子
巫女の舞ふ鈴より春の寒さかな 石山民谷
巫女の袖触れし天神花を享く 後藤比奈夫
巫女の鈴こだまとなりて杜小春 石川規矩子
巫女の鈴りりちりち砂灼けにける 伊藤敬子
巫女の髪水引を懸け神迎 安西閑山寺
巫女の髪解かずに下向革コート 河野頼人
巫女の髪髪切虫が切りに来し 村上冬燕

巫女ひとりゐる大宮の芦の絮 北山春子
巫女ふたり打つ七草のせりなづな 蒲幾美
巫女も出て陽明門の煤払ふ 鈴木朗月
巫女も持つ時代祭の長刀を 岸風三楼 往来
巫女ゆききして玉虫の育つ森 神尾久美子
巫女より郭公やさし六地蔵 文挟夫佐恵 雨 月
巫女をおろしてしのぶ文字ずり良夜かな 加藤郁乎
巫女一つづつ雲丹海に雲丹供養 上甲明石
巫女囃子遠くにリラの花匂ふ 西村公鳳
巫女市の霧大粒に湖わたる 角川源義
巫女市霊界に柵めぐらして 三好潤子
巫女溜りはなやいでゐる雛納め 鈴木智子
巫女町のあかつき起や萩が花 妻木 松瀬青々
巫女白し炭をつかみし手をそゝぐ 前田普羅

巫女舞の扇の先の青嶺かな 佐野典子
巫女舞の稽古の日々や神無月 岩城鹿水
巫女舞の稽古はじめや楠若葉 堀井より子
巫女舞の花をうながす足拍子 伊藤京子
巫女舞は注連の几帳にかくれつゝ 高浜虚子
巫女舞を見せられ屠蘇に酔ひにけり 小路紫峡

Many more haiku about the miko
- source : HAIKUreikuDB

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Suzuki Harunobu 鈴木晴信 (1725 - 1770)


巫女の髪麻で束ねて更衣
miko no kami asa de tabanete koromogae

the hair of the Miko
is bound by a hemp string -
changing of the robes


永岡好友 Nagaoka Yoshitomo (1939 - )

. koromogae 更衣 changing of the robes .
- kigo for summer -

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .


- reference : nichibun yokai database 妖怪データベース -
115 to explore

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