immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)


Akakura Mountain Shrine Rituals

Quicktime videos of the Cooking Pot (Kamado) Ceremony
(see Immwortal Wishes, pp. 89-93)


Beginning. The preparatory prayer, while drumming, chanted by a senior kamisama spirit medium (1.4 MB)

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"Saigi, Saigi" (Repentance, Repentance), the shrine hymn, sung by the senior kamisama spirit medium as the congregation sings and claps in the background. (4 MB)

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The spirit medium next performs a special chanted prayer calling down the mountain diviinties, as the cooking barrel is heated. Several assistants on the far left adjust the cooking barrel and the coals underneath. (960K)

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Finale. As the drumming concludes, another spirit medium, dressed in white, announces the activation of the cooking pot and place salt and rice in the barrel, as she makes exclamatory shouts. The barrel begins to emit the distinctive resonating hum indicating the presence of the divinities. Worshipers stand and in a line hurry past the barrel, depositing salt and rice in the boiling water as mediums pray aloud.

( 2 minutes)(4.7 MB)

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Website developed by Ellen Schattschneider (Brandeis University)