Japanese Divine Visit Rituals to Be Listed as UNESCO Heritage

Society Culture

Tokyo, Oct. 24 (Jiji Press)--A UNESCO panel recommended Wednesday that a set of traditional divine visit rituals in Japan be inscribed on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The listing of "raiho-shin, ritual visits of deities in masks and costumes" is expected to be adopted formally at an intergovernmental committee meeting of the U.N. educational and cultural body in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, from Nov. 26.

The raiho-shin (visiting god) ritual series will be the 21st Japanese asset on the intangible heritage list. The latest Japanese addition, in 2016, was "yama, hoko and yatai" float festivals.

The raiho-shin series consists of 10 traditional rituals in which people disguised as god messengers visit homes to warn people against laziness, expel evil and pray for good health.

All 10 rituals are important intangible folk cultural assets designated by the Japanese government.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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