Breaking ground on Okinawa

The breaking of ground for a new house on the Japanese island of Okinawa is marked by the ceremony of Jichinsai, when a Shinto priest purifies the site and pacifies the earth spirits, through offerings of food and drink and the performance of a series of rites: the cutting of grass using a ritually pure sickle, the digging of a hole using a ritually pure hoe and the ritual burial of an object of enshrinement. The ceremony of Jichinsai is traditionally repeated at the conclusion of construction, to protect the project from structural problems.


Kazunobu Matsuda