As you walk through Tomonoura, you may be lucky enough to notice a small ring hanging down, marking an entrance. This is an amulet called “Chinowa”.
“Chinowa” is a ring woven by Imperata cylindrica.
Every year on the day of “Nagoshi no Harae” on June 30th, shrines in various places each hold the exorcism ritual namaed “Chinowa Kuguri” where they make a Chinowa big enough for people to go through. Here at Tomonoura, we can see the ritual “Chinowa Kuguri” at Gion-gu, Nunakuma Shrine.
On this day, it is said that going through the Chinowa will protect you from crime, affliction, disasters and plagues. The event therefore receives a lot of popularity every year.
Visitors can go through the circle as if drawing a figure of eight with their bodies to cleanse them of sin.
According to records of the culture and geography of the province (Fudoki), Chinowa Kuguri is said to have begun in the Nara Period. Susanoo no Mikoto, who rented some accommodation from a poor young man Somin Shorai, said, “If a plague happens, you will be safe if you say you are a descendant of Somin Shorai and put a Chinowa on your belt.”
Interestingly, inhabitants tend to unroll the Chinowa rings on the front of their doors so that they can contibute to the making of the big Chinowa ring used at the shrine. The big ring is later deconstructed and the individual parts distributed back among the general population. This unique tradition in Tomonoura will warm your heart as a place where life and history go hand in hand.
Place/ Nunakuma Shrine
Address/ 1225 Ushiroji, Tomo-cho, Fukuyama-shi, Hiroshima
Date/ 17:00 -, June 30th, every year
Tel/ +81-84-982-2050(Nunakuma Shrine）