Chinkashiki

Chinkashiki (Fire Control Ceremony)

September 17
Chinkashiki is a ceremony performed by Shinto priests at shrines around Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan. The priests walk in somber procession around a bed of burning coals until they work themselves into a kind of trance. Next, the priests gather up some salt, throw some of it into the fire and smear the remainder on their feet before walking over the burning coals in as dignified a manner as possible. The purpose of the ceremony is to demonstrate to the assembled crowds that Shinto religious beliefs and practices can tame fire and destroy its power to hurt human beings.
Shinto is the indigenous Japanese religious tradition. It has no founder, no official sacred scriptures, and no fixed system of doctrine or ethics, but it relies heavily on traditional rites and festivals.
CONTACTS:
Japan National Tourist Organization
1 Rockefeller Pl., Ste. 1250
New York, NY 10020
212-757-5640; fax: 212-307-6754
www.japantravelinfo.com
SOURCES:
JapanFest-1965, p. 190
OxDictWrldRel-1997, p. 892