Inoru, Tanushimaru.Inoru, Tanushimaru.

Inoru, Tanushimaru.Inoru, Tanushimaru.

Kaze-dome Ritual: Unchanging Awe of Nature


The  "Kaze-dome" (Wind Calming Festival) is a ritual held from late June to July. It is also known as the “Fūchin-sai “ or “Yakujin-sai Kaze-dome Matsuri.” The festival is a prayer for protection against natural disasters such as strong winds and heavy rains that could damage crops, as well as for good health during the rainy season after the hard work of rice planting.

The Ritual:

During the ritual, o-fuda (amulets) for yakuyoke (warding off the evil spirit) and kaze-dome (wind calming) are blessed. After the ritual, the ujiko (parishioners) put up these amulets at the corners of the boundaries and roads connecting the outside world to the district. In some places, the priest raises a white flag inscribed with a prayer for wind calming to the top of a tall tree in the shrine grounds.

Unique Traditions:

In a certain district, there is a unique rule that the parishioners must carry out the task written on a fortune slip drawn by the priest. This demonstrates the people’s desperate wish to avoid disasters and illnesses.

Variations in the Ritual:

Although this ritual is performed in many places, there are various differences depending on the places. In some districts, the amulets are attached to the bamboo sticks of gohei (sacred streamers) and erected, while in others, bamboo poles with the tips wrapped in straw are used instead of the amulets. The location where the poles are erected also varies, from the roadside to the premises of the parishioners. Similarly, the practice of raising the prayer flag has changed over time. While people used to climb high trees to install it, the decreasing number of people who can climb trees has led to the use of cranes in some districts.

Experiencing the Diversity of Traditions:

The fact that the same ritual can have so many variations depending on the districts and era is a unique characteristic of Tanushimaru, where many shrines are concentrated in a small area. This allows visitors to experience the diversity of traditions up close.