Shide (Shinto)

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A Shinto shrine with shide made out of unprocessed hemp fibre.
Types of shide

Shide (紙垂, 四手) are zigzag-shaped paper streamers, often seen attached to shimenawa or tamagushi, and used in Shinto rituals in Japan. A popular ritual is using a haraegushi, or "lightning wand", named for the zig-zag shide paper that adorns the wand.[1] A similar wand, used by miko for purification and blessing, is the gohei with two shide.[2] A Shinto priest waves the haraegushi over a person, item, or newly bought property, such as a building or a car. The wand is waved at a slow and rhythmic pace, but with a little force so that the shide strips make a rustling noise on each pass of the wand. For new properties, a similar ritual known as jijin sai is performed with a haraegushi, an enclosed part of the land (enclosed by shimenawa), and sake, or ritually purified sake known as o-miki.

The haraegushi has been used for centuries in Shinto ceremonies and has similarities in Ainu culture. In Ainu culture, a shaved willow branch called an inaw or inau closely resembles the Shinto haraegushi, and is used in similar blessing rituals.


  1. ^ "Shrines: Shimenawa". Japan Guide. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Shinto Symbols: The Meanings of the Most Common Symbols Seen in Japanese Shinto Shrines". Tsunagu Japan. Retrieved 15 June 2021.

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