© 2019 海女 | Toba & Shima Ama (Japanese Female Freedivers) | 日本

Toba Sea-Folk Museum, MIE UNIVERSITY AMA RESEARCH CENTER,

AMA Promotion Council & the Toba Chamber of Commerce

Mikazuki Shinji

(Shinto Ritual Event for Diving)

Kuzaki

Toba City

June 1st (Old Calendar)

This Shinto ritual service is held at the 'Beach of God’ in Kuzaki Town, Toba City, gathering abalone to offer for Ise Jingu. On June 1st of the old calendar, all of the ama from the neighborhood came together at this beach in Kuzaki and made the first dive of the year. The harvested abalone were offered to Ise Jingu, and the ama prayed for a big catch and maritime safety for the year. The system of Shinto rituals to present food offerings was discontinued in November, Meiji 4 (1871). Thus, this diving event was terminated, except for the offering of noshiawabi (stretched abalone strips). In Heisei 15 (2003) this ritual was revived after an interval of 132 years. Ama from Kuzaki, Toshi, Toshiwagu, Sugashima, Uramura, Ijika, Osatsu, Anori and Kamishima gather together. The priest from Amakazukime Shrine holds a Shinto ritual in conformity with the ancient rite. Then, ama dive three times, and make an offering of the harvested abalone.

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