Offering of Inarizushi and sake to Inarisama. The rice is a combination of rice offered to the wakemitama over the last several weeks, and goshinmai, or sacred rice, from Fushimi Inari Taisha, grown at the sacred rice paddy and ritually harvested.
Untitled l hikagami
The following is a publication from Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto, the head shrine of Inari Ōkami. Translation from Japanese to English performed by Japan Communication Consultants, New York City, under my commission.1. About Oinari-san
Fushimi Inari Taisha is said to have been founded on Hatsuuma of Kisaragi (the first horse day [sixth day] of the second month) in the fourth year of the Wadō period (711), when Inari Ōkami was enshrined on the three peaks of Inariyama. Inari Ōkami has five names, Uka no Mitama no Ōkami, Satahiko no Ōkami, Ōmiya no Me no Ōkami, Tanaka no Ōkami, and Shi no Ōkami. These kami (the five principal Inari kami) are all worshiped as Shoichii Inari Gosha Daimyōjin.
From ancient times, people had faith in the sacred virtues of these deities as protectors of bountiful harvests of the five grains and of household and business prosperity. With the diversification of our lifestyles, however, they are prayed to today for all aspects of life, including physical health, realization of earnest wishes, safe travel, passing of entrance exams, and the healing of illnesses.2. About Wake-Mitama
There are many Wake-Mitama (“branch spirits”) of Inari Ōkami enshrined not only in Japan, but also overseas in locations where many Japanese live such as Hawaii and Brazil.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine of the approximately 30,000 Inari jinja enshrining Oinari-san all around Japan. Moreover, if one counts the Wake-Mitama enshrined in auxiliary shrines at jinja, hokora on the grounds of Buddhist temples, local chinjugami (tutelary kami), shrines on the grounds of corporations, factories, and apartment complexes, and kamidana (literally, “god shelves”) in homes and on ships, the number probably reaches the millions.
An Inari jinja receiving a Wake-Mitama (Omitama) and enshrining it as a mimamori no kami (tutelary kami) is called “Inari kanjō.” Accepting an Omitama is similar to the way the flame of a sacred lantern is taken to the kamidana of individual homes. Its sacred virtues are identical to those of the Oyagami (“parent” kami) enshrined at the main shrine. Unlike an ofuda (talisman), an Omitama is a Go-shintai (a kami), so it must be enshrined with the utmost care.
Furthermore, when an Omitama is provided, it is always accompanied by a certificate (proving that it was accepted from the head shrine, Fushimi Inari Taisha; see Figure 1). Please keep this certificate with the Omitama in the osha or hokora.Figure 1: Omitama certificate
3. How to enshrine an Omitama
There are two ways to enshrine an Omitama: tana-matsuri (Figure 2) and ji-matsuri (Figure 3). Tana-matsuri refers to placing a kamidana in an appropriate place inside a building. Ji-matsuri refers to erecting a hokora for enshrinement on shrine grounds or other property.Figure 2: Tana-matsuriFigure 3: Ji-matsuri
As for the direction the shrine faces, south or east is considered best, but this is not absolutely necessary. The important thing is that the location selected for the shrine be clean and appropriate for the execution of morning and evening worship and other rites. In addition, please place the osha or hokora such that it will be above eye level when worship rituals are performed.
Enshrinement without an osha or hokora, commonly referred to as hadaka-matsuri, is not good.
The Omitama is to be placed inside an osha or hokora. The mitobira doors should be kept shut, except once or twice a year when they are opened for taisai (major festival) rites. Even at such times, however, a misu (bamboo screen) or mitobari (curtain) should be fixed inside the doors so that the Omitama is not directly visible.
An osha for each single kami is best, but if one must be used for three kami, the Omitama should be enshrined in the center, with an ofuda from Tennō Jingu (Ise Jingu) on the right as one faces the shrine, and an ofuda from an ujigami (local kami) on the left.
Ofuda or kitōfuda from Inari Taisha should not be placed inside with the Omitama. They can be enshrined by standing them in front of the mitobira or to the side.
Please decorate the osha appropriately, with a shinkyō mirror (also called a maetate), a pair of sakakitate, a pair of otsukai (foxes), and a pair of candles, as well as teitō paper lanterns, torii, tōrō lanterns, nobori banners, etc.4. Rules for worship
Companies, factories, shops, homes, and so on enshrining an Omitama should select meaningful days, such as the first and fifteenth days of each month, the Hatsuuma (first horse day) of each month, the anniversary of the day the Omitama was received, the anniversary of the shop or business’s establishment, or family celebration days, and designate them as festival days.
Before worshiping, one should take care to clean the kamidana or hokora, replace the sakaki, etc.
When performing rituals, it is important that one’s body and soul be pure, so before performing daily worship it is important to rinse out one’s mouth and wash one’s hands.
Daily offerings are rice, salt, and water.
On festival days, in addition to rice, salt, and water, sake, mochi, fish, sea vegetables, fruits, vegetables, and sweets may also be offered as appropriate. It is also good to offer first harvests of the season or rare items from far away.
As for the manner of worship, the basic form follows the sequence of one yū (shallow bow), two hai (deep bows), two hakushu (handclaps), one hai, one yū.
When a tamagushi is used in worship, its base should be presented to the kami before beginning to worship. If a norito prayer is to be recited, it should come after the one yū, two hai, and two hakushu. Once it is completed, it is followed by two hakushu, two hai, and one yū.Above: Examples of offerings of rice, salt, and waterAbove: Examples of offerings of rice, sake, salt, and water
Short prayer (example)
Humbly, I enter the presence of Inari Ōkami. With awe and reverence, I speak. Through the Ōkami’s great and bountiful blessings, please grant my household peace in all things under Heaven, watch over it night and day, and grant it protection and happiness, I humbly beg.
More detailed Inari Jinbaichō and Oharaeshiki will be provided at the place of reception.
There is a belief in giving an Omitama of Shōichii Inari Ōkami a kami name relevant to the occupation, region, location, and so on of the recipient and praying to it under that name. For example, at the shinseki of the three peaks of Inariyama, the Lower, Middle, and Upper Shrines are exalted with the names Shiragiku, Aoki, and Suehiro. The many tumuli sunken into the mountain each have a split kami celebrated with different names. This is because different people have faith in different aspects of the great and infinite divine virtues of the Oyagami, so faith in these verious names was born. The kami enshrined at Fushimi Inari Taisha is Inari Ōkami, and each of the others may be named XX Inari Ōkami, YY Inari Ōkami, and so on.
The true form is for worship of an Omitama to be forever passed on to children and grandchildren. It is not necessary to return it when a generation passes away, a business is closed, a household relocates, and so on.
When one has worshipped an Omitama for a long time and received many blessings for which one is grateful, and out of this gratitude one wishes to worship the Oyagami even more, one may receive a larger Omitama. This is called kakuage.
There are nine types of Omitama, in order of size as follows:
Fushimi Inari Taisha Office
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Kyoto 612-0882, Japan
Tel.: (075) 641-7331
Fax: (075) 642-2153
The necklace I got at Fusimi Inari Taisha. It’s Inari’s key, one of her symbols, most commonly seen being held in the mouth of one of the fox guardians. The key not only symbolizes the key to the granary, but also it represents how Inari is a key to unlocking spiritual development and wisdom, and a key to unlocking worldly pursuits and wishes. With her all things are possible.
The glow is something that kept occurring when I photographed it, but it doesn’t appear in real life! At the source of the flow reads Inari’s name in hiragana, いなり.
Made some offerings to Inari today and added some new red candles I found :)
Arctic Fox(Rob Diffenderfer)
This isn’t an arctic fox it is a marble-phase Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), a color morph only found in captive bred foxes.