21/04/2015

Sake rituals festivals

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Sake 酒 rice wine for rituals and festivals

- quote -
Sake and Japanese Culture
The god of sake was also the god of rice growing and harvesting.
So when the people prayed for good growing conditions and thanked the god for a good harvest, they connected with the god of sake. Sake linked the people to their gods, and then linked people together in congeniality. In this way, sake took on a vital role in religious festivities, agricultural rites, and many different ceremonial events, from marriages to funerals.
. . . Sake is more than a drink taken to enjoy a tipsy time — it also serves a vital social purpose at the defining moments in life.
- quote by Takeo Koizumi -


. sake 酒 saké, saki - Japanese rice wine .
- Introduction -


The following is a summary of the many pages about Sake in the Darumapedia.
It will be updated regularly, so please come back visiting.

Gabi Greve, April 2015

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- - - - - Offerings of sake barrels from the breweries


CLICK for more photos !

. Matsunoo Taisha 松尾大社 Matsunoo Grand Shrine
Matsuno'o Taisha - Matsu-no-o .

A shrine to celebrate the making, selling and drinking of Sake.

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- - - - - Sake for Rituals - - - - -


Before cutting down a big cedar tree, the wood cutter pours a cup of sake on the stem and roots of the tree and says a short prayer.
Then the chainsaw starts to work.

Gabi Greve, in my garden, April 2015


oshaku, o-shaku お酌 pouring sake
Drinking sake is a social event.
You never pour your own cup, but have a friend (or payed geisha) sit at your side for that purpose.
Once your own cup is emptied, you pour a drink for the other person.


There are special manner manuals on how to do this properly.
- source : www.f-maeda.com



shukuhai 祝杯 sake for a toast on an auspicious situation


source : marippe3.exblog.j

sharing a drink
with eternal friends -
spring in the air


Gabi Greve, April 2015


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. miki, shinshu お神酒 Sake of the Gods .
- quote -
Rice wine (sake) offered to the kami, a necessary part of the food offerings known as shinsen. Usually referred to as omiki, or alternately as shinshu, the term miki is a combination of two characters, the honorific mi and the character for "wine" (ki).
. . . . . In ancient documents, miki is also called miwa, and the deity Miwa no kami 三輪の神 is thus famous as the kami who presides over sake.
- source : Saito Michiko


- quote -
The religious use of sake (o-miki お神酒)
In the word o-miki, the reading "ki" is assigned to the character for sake. As such, the final meaning would again be akin to "the sake that helps one prosper," but perhaps this time there is a bit more of a religious association. Linguistically, sakae-no-ki changed to sakae-no-ke, sakae-ke and sake-ke before arriving at the vernacular manifestation we use today.
- source : John Gauntner


. sakaki 榊 sakaki tree, Cleyera japonica, masakaki .
The sacred tree of Japanese Shinto.

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otoso, o-toso お屠蘇 -お屠蘇 seasoned sweet rice wine

In the Edo period, Mirin was drunk as a sweet sake. Otoso, traditionally drunk on Shōgatsu New Year was made by soaking a spice mixture in mirin. It can be seen as a kind of herbal medicine for a long life.
In the Kansai style of cooking, mirin is briefly boiled before using, to allow some of the alcohol to evaporate, while in the Kantō regional style, the mirin is used untreated. Kansai-style boiled mirin is called nikiri mirin (煮切り味醂), literally "thoroughly boiled mirin."

. mirin 味醂 - みりん sweet rice wine

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sansan kudo. san san kudo  三三九度 
“thrice three, nine times”- “three three nine times”




- quote -
Japanese Wedding Traditions: San San Kudo
This ceremony is a ritualized drinking of sake by the couple, and sometimes their parents as well which serves as a binding ceremony. There are three sakazuki (ceremonial sake cups) stacked one on top of the other in a tier. Both the bride and the groom sip from each cup three times, hence the “three three nine times”. Three cannot be divided in two, making it a particularly lucky number for a wedding in Japanese culture.
- Symbolism in a San San Kudo Ceremony
There are many different ideas about the symbolism of the three sake cups. Some believe it represents heaven, earth, and mankind, others believe it represents the love, wisdom, and happiness which grow over time in a marriage. Another source says the three cups represents three human flaws of hatred, passion, and ignorance.
- Variations of San San Kudo
Because this is such an old tradition, there are many variations. For example, sometimes parents join which expands the symbolism of three, as there are now three couples. Occasionally, couples only sip three times (only once on each cup), instead of three times on each cup. Technically, this is incorrect, as the name defines the ceremony as “three three nine times”.
- source : www.japanesestyle.com



kenpai 献盃 offering a drink

. Kenpaishiki 献盃式 in memory of Saint Shinran .
Drinking sake in a memorial service, at temple Honganji and others
January 1.


A special form of "social drinking" at a naorai 直会(なおらい) party:


CLICK for more photos !

After some meetings and rituals and also at the winning party of a sumo wrestler, a large sake cup 大杯 is handed around and each one has to take a sip.

. Naorai 直会 banquet that accompanies a matsuri .


. Naorai at Kashima Shrine 鹿島神宮 Kashima Jingu .

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. enju hai 延寿盃 Enju sake cup for a long life .
New Year ceremony enju sai 延寿祭 at Kashihara Jingu 橿原神宮, Nara


. hana no sake 花の酒 rice wine for blossom viewing .
..... hanamizake 花見酒 sake for the spring cherry blossom Hanami


. hatsumoode 初詣 first shrine visit of the New Year .
Often there are edible gold flakes in the first auspicious sake cup.


. jichinsai 地鎮祭 ground-breaking ceremony .
Before construction work, to pacify the earth deity and to purify the spot where construction will be carried out.


. jirooshu 治聾酒 sake to cure deafness .


. Kaenashi no kenpai 栢梨の献盃 .
a ritual drink of sake brewed with the juice of Japanese pears (nashi) from the village of Kaenashi in Settsu province 摂津国栢梨.
For the butsumyooe 仏名会 Buddha's Name Ceremony in winter.


. kijizake (kiji sake) 雉子酒, "pheasant ricewine" .
. . . . . kiji shu 雉子酒 / o kiji おきじ
Offered to all New Year visitors to the Emperor's palace.


. kiku no sake 菊の酒 chrysanthemum sake .
kikuzake 菊酒 - kikuka no sake 菊花の酒
for the Chrysanthemum Festival in September
- and
gumi no sake 茱萸の酒 sake with silverberries - for a long life


. nihonshu no hi 日本酒の日 Sake Day - October 01 .

ogi nite sake kumu 扇にて酒くむ
. drinking sake from a hand fan - a dance .


. tsukimizake 月見酒 drinking sake while moon viewing .

. yukimizake 雪見酒 drinking sake whilst viewing the snow falling .



Many rituals are also kigo for haiku.
. WKD - Ricewine, rice wine (sake, saké, saki) Reiswein .

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- - - - - Sake Festivals - - - - -

sake matsuri 酒祭り - Sake festivals are very popular !

- reference - 酒祭り
- reference - Sake festival

Most festivals have a religious origin, but some are now rather commercial with the objective to sell local sake.

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- - - ABC-order of the festival name


doburoku sai どぶろく祭 Doburoku festival

At the shrine 白川八幡神社 Shirakawa Hachimangu in Gifu, there is a festival where doburoku rice wine is brewed for this shrine festival and then served to more than 5000 visitors.



Gifu 岐阜県 Hagimachi 萩町

doburoku どぶろく / 濁酒 nigorizake 濁り酒, unrefined sake
. Food and Drink from Gifu prefecture 岐阜県 .

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. Furukawa no okoshi daiko 古川の起し太鼓 "wake-up drums from Furukawa"
The participants wear white headband, white “tabi (Japanese socks)” and stomach band made from bleached cotton. Hida in mid April is still chilly and blows cold wind at night, but it has no effect to their body heated with sake and high spirits.
Gifu, 飛騨古川 Hida Furukawa town


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. Iriya Jinja Hokake Matsuri 揖屋神社 穂掛祭 . - Matsue
. . . the crowd is given super yummy sake in bamboo cups.


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. Kanda Myoojin Matsuri 神田明神祭り Kanda Myojin Festival . Edo / Tokyo
In summer for the Sanno Festival and in autumn for the Kanda festival rich merchants put a golden folding screen in front or their shop, placed a wooden stand in front of it (sanpoo 三方) and put up some offerings of sacred rice wine (miki お神酒) .


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Kyokusui no En 曲水の宴 "floating poems on water"


CLICK for more photos !

A poetry ritual held at various shrines and parks in Japan.
Kyokusui was a pastime of the nobility in ancient times. A lacquer sake cup was set adrift in a stream and the participants, watching on a downstream bank, had to compose a short poem and then drink the sake in the cup when it reached them.

- reference -

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. Saikusa matsuri 三枝祭 Saikusa Lily Festival
Isagawa jinja 率川神社, Nara

During the festival black (nigori) and white sake (pure) (shiroki, kuroki) is poured into two barrels as an offering to the shrine deities. These barrels are decorated with many bamboo lilies from Mount Miwa.
This ritual dates back to the reign of Emperor Monmu Tenno 文武天皇 (701–703).
The black sake was made with ash. Sake brewers added ash of camellia and evergreen trees as a way to cut the acidity.
Sake made in Izumo, Higo and Satsuma were especially famous for their black coloring.


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Sake Matsuri Hibita Jinja 酒祭 - 比々多神社
An the end of November

Sake brewers from all over Japan come here to pray.


. Hibita Jinja 比々多神社 .
1472 Sannomiya, Isehara, Kanagawa

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Sake Matsuri Saijo 酒まつりは西条 - Hiroshima
Hiroshima annually ranks 4th or 5th in volume of sake produced, and Saijo is one of Japan’s most famous brewing districts. In celebration of this, once a year everyone goes to the local park and attempts to drink as much of it as possible.

You can wander around the breweries and sample some of their products (the free stuff is generally lower quality though). Or join the masses in the Sake Hiroba 酒ひろば in the park, where for ¥1300 (¥1600 on the day) you get your own little cup from which to sample the 900 kinds of sake from all over the country on offer.


If you get there in good time there is plenty of high quality stuff to be had, and it’s a great opportunity to experience the diversity (and potency) of sake. There is no re-admission to the main Sake Hiroba, so if you want to do tour the breweries and stagger around the back streets, you should probably do that first.
- source : gethiroshima.com

- source : sakematsuri.com (Japanese)

There is a special food in Saijo Town:
. bishonabe, bisho nabe 美酒鍋 hodgepodge simmered with sake only .
bisho nabe びしょ鍋 : The workers in a sake factory were called "bisho" , from the sound of splashing water, bisho bisho ビショビショ. For the Chinese characters, the present version was then choosen for more effect, meaning "Beautiful Ricewine" 美酒鍋.

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. Sake Summit in Nangai  酒遊サミットinなんがい 
Daisen town, Akita


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. shiritsumi matsuri 尻摘祭 rump-bumping festival
hitting the buttocks festival - rear-end sumo
At Otonashi Jinja 音無神社 Otonashi shrine, Shizuoka


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. Tagata Shrine Fertility Festival 田県神社の豊年祭
Komaki, Nagoya
The festival is fun with a lot of sake drinking, however the background of the festival is rather more serious.


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. Togakushi Soba Festival 戸隠そば祭り
People buy small sake cups on the eve of the festival and eat soba at any (or all!) of the twenty one participating restaurants.
Togakushi Shrine 戸隠神社, Nagano



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End-of-season Festivities:
Koshiki-daoshi and Kaizou
- source : John Gauntner's Sake World

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The Buddhist version of Sake is called
the Water of Wisdom, Hanya no Mizu, 般若の水,
and consumed even by monks and priests at prestigeous temple compounds.
source : The Insider's Guide to Sake - Philip Harper




. Sake, Ricewine and Daruma .
Nihonshu 日本酒 the Drink of Japan





masumasu Daruma 升々だるま
- - - - - masumasu ますます 【益々】/  升ます
... is an expression for things getting better and better.

. masuzake, masu sake 升酒 rice wine served in a wooden masu .


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- - - - - Other references to Sake - - - - -


. Azuki-Arai 小豆洗い Monster washing azuki beans .
a sake label


. Doosojin 道祖神 Dosojin Wayside Deities .
Some couples are exchanging a coup of sake (shuugizoo 祝儀像).
Usually he holds the small cup and she pours for him. Or he holds a ladle and she holds a fan (杓扇).


. Fujiwara no Hidehira 藤原秀衡 (1122? - 1187) .
Yoshitsune and Benkei  義経と弁慶
Hidehira had his son promise to continue to shelter Yoshitsune and his retainer Benkei, but the son gave into Yoritomo and surrounded the castle with his troops, forcing Yoshitsune to commit seppuku (his head would be preserved in sake and given to Yoritomo) and resulting in the famous standing death of Benkei. Yoritomo destroyed the Fujiwara domain and killed Hidehira's son.


. - Kizakura Gekkeikan キザクラ 黄桜 "Yellow Cherry Blossom" - .
Sake and the Kappa かっぱ water goblin





. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 the haiku poet and his sake and sakazuki .
. . . and poems about people being drunk . . .
ararezake あられ酒 "Hail Wine" from Nara
There is also a sweet potato schnaps with this name.



. sakazuki 杯/盃/坏 small cup for sake .
choku, ochoku ちょく【猪口】Choko, O-choko and  食いのみ guinomi


. Sake no Hosomichi 酒のほそ道 "The Narrow Roads of Ricewine" .
Razuweru Hosoki ラズウェル細木 Rozwell Hosoki


. Suzumon 鈴 家紋 Suzumon Family Clan .
Suzumon and Sake
Sake has been linked so closely to shrines that we have a common saying “sacred sake is offered to every god”. Since the gratitude and prayer for good harvest of rice are key elements of Shinto, sake, or rice wine, is essential for festivals and rituals. Therefore, it was common that priests brewed sake in shrines.
. . . Long-lasting sake brewing since ancient times is handiwork that predecessors respecting gods and nature have cultivated. Suzumon continues to dedicate our sake to Toyoakizu shrine, our local tutelary god, and Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine, which our ancestor has a link with, when the Rei-taisai festivals (regular rites and festivals) are held, cherishing our link with these shrines.


. tokkuri 徳利  sake flask .
kayoi-tokkuri, kayoidokkuri, kayoi-dokkuri  通い徳利 
binboo tokkuri, binboodokkuri 貧乏徳利 for the poor
binboodaru 貧乏樽 bimbodaru, Tokkuri for the poor
- - - - - atsukan 熱カン hot rice wine in a tokkuri
- - - - - sakedaru 酒樽 sake barrel




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. Mingei 民芸 Folk Art of Japan .
CLICK on the photos below for more sake and mingei times !




. dorei どれい / 土鈴 clay bells .







. kokeshi こけし wooden dolls .






. tenugui 手ぬぐい small hand towels .


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Inside the Shrine - Shintō Concepts, What’s What
. Mark Schumacher .



. Matsunoo Taisha 松尾大社 Matsunoo Grand Shrine
Matsuno'o Taisha - Matsu-no-o .

A shrine in Kyoto to celebrate the making, selling and drinking of Sake.
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Also introducing other shrines closely related to sake.


. Yokai Sake 妖怪 酒 and local monster legends .



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

- #sakerituals #sakefestivals #reiswein -
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