Nanori (self-introduction), Shimenawa-kiri (sacred rice-straw rope cut), Himatsuri (fire festival) (名のり・注連縄切り・火祭り)

"Nanori, Shimenawa-kiri, Himatsuri" is a series of annual events held from New Year's Eve through New Year's Day in Daio-cho, Shima City, Mie Prefecture.


On the night of New Year's Eve, several Nanori-sendo boatmen and children of junior high school students and younger gather in the Namikiri branch of the Shimano-kuni fisheries cooperative association and the event starts with the Ise Dance song (the song played at the moment is the one arranged locally). Next, all participants introduce themselves.

After that, children who hold barrels and bales break up into groups and go door-to-door in respective area, accompanied by Nanori-sendo boatmen wearing a red livery coat with a chochin (Japanese paper lantern) labeled as 'Deguchi-daimyojin.'

They walk along the path with the call of 'horoisa,' etc. and on hearing this call, all the family at each house or tourists in a Japanese-style hotel welcome them by opening up the front door. In front of the house, they carry out the following alternate performance. Each house hands over rice cakes and other stuffs, then the event is over. Also, each house is not allowed to bake New Year's rice cakes if this event is not held at home.

After going-door-to-door, they gather group by group at the fisheries cooperative association or the house of Nanori-sendo boatman or their relatives and distribute the rice cakes and other stuffs they received. Later, every Nanori-sendo boatmen gather again in the fisheries cooperative association and move on to the 'Shimenawa-kiri' event.


Nanori-sendo boatmen burn old Shimenawa and fan the force of the fire in the motion like catching a fish with a bamboo pole. It is believed that the higher the flame flares up, the more fish will be caught.

Himatsuri-shinji Ritual

After that, they bring the fire of bamboo poles into the boats for purification.
They throw burned embers of bamboo poles into the sea, saying 'We give them to Jingusan.'

In the past, as mandarin oranges and other stuffs were also offered by each house, 40 to 50 mandarin oranges were distributed to each child.

The meaning of 'Jingusan' is not known exactly but some research indicates that it may be the name of 'Watatsumi no kami' (tutelary of the sea).

[Original Japanese]