Chozuya 手水舎

Purification of body and mind

 

At the entrance to Shinto shrines, devotees must wash their hands and rinse their mouths with "chozuya" for purification before worship.

 

A complete purification

Purification, therefore, plays a vital role in Shinto worship and takes several forms: ablutions (misogi), prayers under a waterfall (mizugori), the harae in Shinto ceremonies during which the priest rids the faithful of their impurities by waving the o-nusa before them.

All of these practices are meant to cleanse your body and mind. Only purified worshipers can approach the kami to pray or show gratitude. For this reason, you will find on the way leading to the shrine's main building a chozuya (also called temizuya or suibansha). This fountain is intended for purification ablutions, as sometimes indicated by an engraved inscription: "wash my mind, clean my heart."

Very often, the water pours from a dragon sculpted in the image of Ryujin, the god of the sea. But sometimes, the latter gives way to a turtle, a deer, a boar, or even the chest of Senju Kannon. . Whether it is a simple stone basin or a wooden one with the most sophisticated carved pavilion, the ritual remains the same.

Mama-Kannon_chōzuya

The chōzuya can sometimes take confusing forms

dollyvarden

Latest Articles

Red spider lily: How to grow and care for this enchanting fall-blooming bulb

The red spider lily (Lycoris radiata) is a striking fall-blooming bulb known for its vivid red flowers that seem to appear magically on bare stalks.

Japan Visitor - manyoshu20195.jpg

The Manyoshu: Japan's oldest and most renowned poetry anthology

The Manyoshu, meaning "Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves", is the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry.

Japan Visitor - mask20192.jpg

Unmasking the Mystique and Allure of Traditional Japanese Masks

Masks have been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries, dating back to at least the 6th century.

See All (368)