Masakaki (真榊)

Masakaki is a ceremonial implement that is placed on both sides of an altar at Shinto rituals. A sakaki plant is placed on the head of five-color (green, yellow, red, white, blue) silk streamer and three sacred imperial treasures are hooked on. A sword is hooked on the left masakaki and a mirror and a magadama (comma-shaped bead) are on the right.

The five colors of the silk streamer refers to the five elements that compose the universe described in The Theory of Five Elements in Yin-Yang: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

At Shinto funerals, masakaki with yellow and white streams are used.

[Original Japanese]