Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hoi! Hoi!

In a village called Nishihara, Kazuko Hamagawa, 66, served as a priestess a decade ago. With 60 other priestesses, she helped perform at least 48 rituals a year. About 15 times a year, the priestesses spent the night together in a shrine in the forest, singing a 100-minute song in their dialect. The first 24 verses revolved around personal prayers, while the next 31 were each devoted to a particular god. —Norimitsu Onishi, "Warding Off Evil Spirits, but Not Toll of Affluence," NYT



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