June rites of purification. When the heat of summer commences, causing the mind and body to tire and energy to wane, impurities can more easily set in. In former times, people sought to rid themselves of impurities by bathing in rivers and restore their energy by passing through chinowa (Grass Ring) and eating ripe melons.
Chinowa are rings of braided cogon grass. Cogon grass has long been considered a potent tool for bodily purification. This year, as in years past, we cut wild cogon grass from the mountains, wind it around a bamboo hoop, and affix it with an ofuda, or talisman, from Yasaka Shrine. Such is Wakuden’s June scenery.
Chinowa-kuguri entails walking through and around a large grass chinowa hoop three times, drawing a figure eight, while chanting “those who perform purification rites in the sixth month prolong their lives by a thousand years.” They say that by performing this mythological rite one can escape illness and calamity. You can find chinowa at our Kodaiji and Muromachi locations until June 30. Please have a look!