Site of the Mikawa Shinji Ritual
Location: 2 Nakajima, Ise City
In ancient times, the riverbed on the right bank along the northern Sengen embankment was called Aenokawara, and a Shinto ritual called Mikawa Shinji was performed there every year on May 3.
In accordance with ancient rites, Shinto officials, who were also called “gyonin (fishermen),” would enter the river near here wearing traditional tall hats called eboshi and yukata robes, and would use nets to catch sweetfish in the current.
According to a document submitted to the shrine in 1776 by a person called Kawamori, who was the highest-ranking gyonin, there were six gyonin from Kyomachi that year, eleven from Kawabata, and eight from Shimokomata, and they contributed 3,333 sweetfish to the shrine from May 3 to September 6.
It is said that the Shinto priests at Ise Grand Shrine and the highly-religious townspeople did not eat the young sweetfish caught during the year until after the Mikawa Shinji ritual.
Although this Shinto ritual is no longer performed today, this ancient record gives us an insight into how offerings for the shrine were procured and into the relationship between the shrine and the townspeople during the Edo period.
December 2021 Ise City Cultural Policy Section