Chinowa Kuguri 2021 Kawagoe. I find the summers in Japan very tough. Its not so much the heat as the humidity. That is why we always escape back to Ireland. However, in 2020 due to the Coronavirus outbreak we were stuck in Japan for the summer. I felt the need more than ever to do Nagoshi no Harae, a shinto ritual to survive the sultry summer…
Nagoshi no Harae
Chinowa Kuguri is a type of shinto ritual and one of the rites of “Nagoshi no Harae” often translated as “summer passing” in English. It is believed that by passing through the ring of chigaya, grasses entwined around a circle of bamboo, that it will increase ones chances of getting through the hot sultry summer in good health. You pass through the ring in a figure of 8, or the infinity sign. Going in, go left first and then right. On the way out it is the same – left first, then right so making the 8 figure in the opposite direction to when you came in. There is a photo at the ring demonstrating how to do it thankfully.
Most of the Chinowa Kuguri that I know of didn’t go ahead in 2020 because of the Coronavirus. But thankfully Kawagoe Hachimangu’s did go ahead and it was on for longer than normal. In addition, the shrine is particularly beautiful during the start of the event when the hydrangea are in bloom. Furthermore, the shrine has a beautiful cleansing floral font with dragon font and seasonal flowers, as per the photo above. More information in English about the seasonal events and the shrine here (click).
Chinowa Kuguri 2021
Kawagoe Hachimangu have been practicing the traditional shinto custom of Chinowa Kuguri since the Edo period. It is a popular annual celebration. The tentative dates for Chinowa Kuguri in 2021 are from June 30th to July 7th. On June 30th they normally have special shinto rituals and pass out keepsakes, for those who participate in the rituals, from 4 pm. That part of the event has not yet been confirmed for 2021.
The shrine is a ten minute walk from both Kawagoe and Hon-kawagoe stations.
Free parking available.