Friday, May 22, 2009

The Gohei

Gohei are the sacred cuttings of folded white paper attached to the shimenawa. Note that the gohei alternate with the pendent tufts of straw. As with the shimenawa, I refer to the erudite Lafcadio Hearn for more on the subject: "The origin of the paper cuttings (gohei) ... is likewise to be found in the legend of the Sun-goddess; but the gohei also represent offerings of cloth anciently made to the gods according to a custom long obsolete."

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