immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)


Akakura Mountain Shrine Rituals

The Great Summer Festival (Taisai)

Towards the end of the ceremony, some worshippers retrieve their food offerings from the table near the Honden. These purified elements are now considered to be "gofu" --with medicinal healing properties.

Meanwhile, preparations are next made for the Cooking Pot (Kamado) Ceremony , which lasts about 30 minutes. (For many worshippers, this rite is considered the highpoint of the ritual year at Akakura.)  A senior spirit medium drums and chants, as a ritual Cooking Pot filled with water is heated. Most of the time, the pot emits a strange, resonating hum. Worshippers line up to deposit rice grains and salt in the boiling water.


Website developed by Ellen Schattschneider (Brandeis University)