Hiraoka Shrine Shimekake-shinji Ritual
Commonly: Owarai-shinji, the Laughing Ritual 0

Japanese myth holds that laughter has its origins in the legend of the sun goddess Amaterasu, in an episode where the gods laughed together to coax her out of seclusion in a cave. They say a Shimenawa (Shinto rope) was placed on the cave to prevent Amaterasu from ever hiding herself away there again.

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Japanese myth holds that laughter has its origins in the legend of the sun goddess Amaterasu, in an episode where the gods laughed together to coax her out of seclusion in a cave. They say a Shimenawa (Shinto rope) was placed on the cave to prevent Amaterasu from ever hiding herself away there again.

Known popularly as the "Laughing Ritual" or "Owarai-shinji," the ceremony consists of removing the old Shimenawa rope and purifying a new one before joining together to literally laugh off all of the events of the old year, greeting the new year with positivity and enthusiasm.

  • name

    Hiraoka Shrine
  • place

    Hiraoka Shrine Road Plaza
  • address

    7-16 Izumoicho, Higashiosaka-shi, Osaka, 579-8033
  • transport

    A short walk from Hiraoka Station on the Kintetsu Nara Line
  • schedule

    December 23rd from 10:00
  • point

    8:30 Making of the Shimenawa rope
    10:00 Ritual begins
    *Highlight - 20 minutes of laughing
    On the day of the festival after 8:00, parish representatives dressed in white will present the new Shimenawa rope. When preparations are complete, the old rope will be changed out for the new one.
    The Shinto ritual begins at 10:00. After a purification rite for the rope, priests, participants, and attendants, the priest will lead the congregation in a laughter chant of "Ha ha ha!" Then, everyone else will join in with "Ha ha ha!" appeasing the gods through the newly changed rope with three ceremonial laughs to the east. After that, the priest will speak about Shimenawa and laughter before leading the crowd in 20 minutes of laughter.
  • name

    Hiraoka Shrine
  • tel

    072-981-4177
  • general paticipation

    Visitors may participate in the laughing contest.
  • parking

    No parking during festivals.
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