Shinji (神事)

"Shinji" are worshipping and rituals related to god. They involve prayers and consultation with god, and are often connected with a god of a specific religion.
It's also referred to as 'jinji.'

Some are performed by religious clergy, while others become public events. Many of the public events are tied to people's lives, who long for secular benefits and stability based upon their occupations, like agriculture and commerce. In such cases, events combining various religions and indigenous faiths are often practiced in parallel or in combination.

Shinji in Shinto also includes events for the general public, such as festivals and purification ceremonies
Official ones are those performed by religious organizations like shrines, and include exorcism for specific things, ground-breaking ceremonies, and exorcism, and praying for traffic safety are often entrusted and performed by shrines. Influenced by synchronized Shinto and Buddhism, some Shinto shinji were derived from ceremonies that include releasing captive animals.

In addition to shinji praying for secular benefits, praying for rain, agriculture, and hunting were also practiced.

Shinji at religious festivals
In festivals that celebrate feasting with gods, acts of welcoming gods or sending gods off with objects to which a spirit is drawn are set up, acts associated with Shinko-sai Festival, acts of offering food and alcohol to the gods, and naorai (feast) were often performed as shinji, and the most important shinji was the act of Shinto priests, shrine maidens, or children parading as tendo (gods disguised as children), consulting gods' will.

There are indirect acts for consulting god's will, such as shinji where fortune is told based upon the result of sumo, etc. The religious meaning of such acts is not strongly felt, but there are many examples like this, such as competitions like yabusame (horseback archery) and kurabeuma (horse racing), using objects and animals.

Dance performances are often shinji, and kagura (ancient Shinto music and dancing), such as Miko no mai (shrine maidens dancing) and shishimai (lion dance), is a classic shinji mai (shinji dance). In addition, many traditional performances, like Noh plays, have elements of shinji in them.

[Original Japanese]