immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)


Akakura Mountain Shrine Rituals

The Mountain Opening Ceremony (Yamabiraki)

May 1st.   (see Immortal Wishes, pp. 94-103)

The placing of the shimenawa rice straw rope across the gorge requires the combined efforts of men and women. As men positioned up on the steep side slopes pull at the rope wrapped around trees, women in the small valley floor below help to lift it up.

Purifying paper zigzag cutouts (shime) have been attached to the rope.