|re: Ground Blessing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Robert W. Tom (be417freenet.carleton.ca)|
|Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 15:47:31 -0600|
on Fri, 20 Mar 98 dme [at] pollux.cs.uga.edu (Dan Everett) wrote: [snipped] > some sort of "ground blessing" ceremony at our site. > Does anyone have suggestions/stories to help us? Hello Dan; Congratulations on your upcoming project. Perhaps the following excert from a description of the Shinto Ground Blessing Ceremony (SGBC) will be of interest to you. Although you may not find the SGBC entirely appropriate for your situation, as is generally the case with any ceremony, it is not so much what a ceremony entails, but the fact that rituals are enacted, thereby giving the event meaning. =========== SCANNED (but not spell-chucked) MATERIAL =========== from "Japanese Houses: Patterns for Living " by Kiyoyuki Nishihara " In almost the dead center of the rolled site, they drive a stake. It is not clear whether this stake is intended to be a relic of the sacred shin-no-mihashira or whether it merely indicates the place on which the building will stand. Around the stake in a square will stand four bamboo poles with the leaves still on them. Generally, the rough square is about twelve feet to a side. >From each of the poles, all around the square, is draped a straw rope with folded white paper ornaments woven into it. The rope and the ornaments designate the enclosed area as a sacred place. All these preparations set the stage for the solemn celebration of the ceremony. In the center of the square will stand a small altar on which are pure white porcelain vases filled with the leaves and branches of the sakaki, a tree sacred to Shinto-ism. Before these vases stand the offerings of rice, sake, vegetables, and fish, in variety and quantity according to the affluence of the man build mg the house. At last the priest in pure white, or sometimes in gold and purple over white, and wearing a tall black woven horsehair hat and black lacquered wooden shoes of a particular kind, enters the grounds, and all the people standing around bow low to him. The priest reads the ritual (Jiorito) then turns to the earth itself and addresses to it a long, low, humming recitation to invoke the god who will protect the house site. When the deity has been invited, it is safe to build a house on the land. The priest then turns to the four corners of the square and from a small box sprinkles bits of white paper and rice in each direction to symbolically drive out evil spirits. He again addresses himself to the earth in a low humming voice to ask the deity to return to its home. This concludes the ceremony. All of the people attending then drink the god's sake from the altar, and construction can begin on the following day. Once the ridge pole, the highest member of the structure, and all the basic structure of the house is finished, we hold another ceremony called the tate-mae. In Europe, a similar ceremony using a crown with colored streamers occurs, but here in Japan we use a small piece of wood on which are painted a number of black ink stripes and from which hangs a folded paper ornament similar to the shide. This is attached to the ridge pole. In some cases, to symbolically chase away evil spirits we also affix to the pole a fully drawn bow with an arrow fitted to the string. When the ceremony is over we take down the bow, but the painted wooden strip and its folded paper remain to be a constant prayer for the safety and protection of the house. Since preparatory cutting and fitting of the beams and columns are completed beforehand, it only takes one day to put everything up. As the sun sets on the day of the tate-mae, the owner of the house and the carpenters are able to sit under the completed structure, drink sake together, and sing songs in prayer for the success of the remaining construction work." ================ END OF SCANNED MATERIAL ======================== -- Rob Tom ---------- * ------------ be417 [at] FreeNet.Carleton.ca Kanata, Ontario, Canada
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