Kigansai Kigansai is a special ceremony held at Kaguraden upon request. As part of the ceremony, Kagura (sacred dance) is performed. Kigansai
(Photo: Kigansai: Yamato-Mai)

Kigan (Wishes)
Kigan-Uketsuke (Registration for Kigansai)
Shikishidai (Order of the ceremony)
Kagura: Yamato-Mai (The sacred dance Yamato-Mai)

Kigan (Wishes)
Inside Kaguraden
(Photo: The hall inside Kaguraden)
Kigan usually refers to wishes, but it can also include all kinds of prayers, reports, or expressions of gratitude. There are various ways of deliving such Kigan (of making wishes or reports etc.). For example, Kigan can be written onto Ema or Kiganbun, or they can be delivered silently when paying respect at Honden (the main shrine building). Upon request, a Kigansai (a Kigan-ceremony) is held, in which the Kigan are included the Norito (liturgy or prayer). Some frequent types of Kigan are:

Hatsumiya-Mode (The first shrine visit paid by a newborn baby)
A prayer for a new born baby's healthy growth. This takes place around one month after birth.

Yakuharai (Warding off evil)
For a happy and prosperous life, Yakuharai prayers are offered at certain ages, mainly for men at the age of 25 or 42 and for women at the ages of 19 or 33.

Prayer for Safety on the Road (including the purification of vehicles)
Prayers for safety on the road are offered as well as the purification of vehicles.

Besides these prayers, various kinds of prayers such as for the health of the family, the safety of a house, for the success and long prosperity of a business, for success in examinations, for a safe journey, for worldwide peace, and for three, five or seven year-old children are offered upon request.

Kigan-Uketsuke (Registration for Kigansai)
The entrance of Kaguraden
(Photo: Front entrance of Kaguraden)
If you wish to participate in such a ceremony, please come to Kaguraden between 9 am and 4 pm, fill in a request form in Japanese, and hand over a monetary offering (ceremonies are offered from 5000 Yen).
Shikishidai (Order of the ceremony)
(Photo: Suzu: Bells used during Kigansai)
The order of the ceremony is as follows:
- Temizu: Please rinse your hands and mouth before entering the inner sacred area or before entering the Tatami room of Kaguraden (there is a font on the left-hand side in front of the room).
- Take off your shoes and enter the hall (in decent outfit, suits, socks). Priests will show you where to sit down.
- The drum is played.
- Purification rite: purification words are recited, and a purification wand is weaved three times (left, right, left) above your head. Please keep you head bowed during the weaving (if you can please sit on your knees during this procedure).
- A shrine maiden brings in Ofuda (the emblems with the names and wishes of all participants) and places them onto the table at the front.
- A senior priest recites a Norito (Shinto liturgy) including prayers for the personal requests of all participants. Please lower your head during the prayer (if you can, please sit on your knees).
- The sacred dance is performed by shrine maidens. (You may sit crossed-legged during the dance).
- Shrine maiden(s) pass with bells, distributing divine grace to the participants. (Please lower your head.)
- A shrine maiden takes the Ofuda (emblems) down.
- Everybody joins a priest to bow twice, clap hands twice, bow once again (please sit on your knees).
- The drum is beaten.
- Everyone proceeds to Naorai (drinking a sip of sacred rice wine; if you cannot drink it or do not want to drink it, please receive the cup, lift it to your lips symbolically, and put it down again).
Kagura: Yamato-Mai (The sacred dance Yamato-Mai)
As part of Kigansai, Kagura (traditional ritual dance and music) are performed.
(Photo: Yamato-Mai)
This sacred dance is based on a poem by Emperor Meiji saying that we owe our existence to the deities, so we should not forget paying respect to them.