Sep 282016

I am going to formally launch the new project, to write essays introducing Shinto supported through Patreon, on Saturday this week. That day is the anniversary of my arrival in Japan, which I think makes it a suitably significant day on which to begin a new venture.

Ahead of the launch, I went to my local jinja today to have a ceremony asking the kami to support the project. I took along a printout of the first essay, the one that all patrons will get free when they sign up, and the priest took it into the area around the sanctuary to leave it in front of the kami, until the project is finished. That’s not entirely usual, most of the offerings are left in the prayer hall, and taken down fairly soon. Here’s hoping it has a positive influence.

If you don’t know what the sanctuary and prayer hall are at a jinja, well, the free essay explains them both, so you can sign up on Saturday to find out.

Sep 212016

I have decided to change the focus of this website, to be on Shinto more generally. There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first is that the game development has moved to doing the School of Magic game first, and that has nothing to do with Shinto. When I have working rules and come back to doing Kannagara, I will almost certainly start talking about it here.

The second is that I am going to launch a Patreon for essays about real-world Shinto in the near future, and I will use this site as the website for that project. The supported essays will only be available to patrons, and will be as objective as I can make them. Posts to this site will be about Shinto, but they will have a much more personal focus. That is, I will say what I think about very topics, rather than simply describing what is going on, or what was the historical situation. Obviously, the line between description and opinion is blurry. I think it is legitimate to describe Meiji religious policy as a persecution of Shinto, but that is not the conventional view. I am going to put that sort of thing on the objective side of the line, and argue for the conclusions, so posts on this site will be for personal experiences, whether I like things, and what I think should be done about various problems faced by Shinto in the present day.

Oct 022014

I’ve been occupied with other work for a while (editing Ars Magica, for example), but now I can start this project moving again. This time, I want to address the question of whether I am qualified to write Kannagara, by writing about the Jinja Kentei, or the Shinto Culture Exam.

Jinja Kentei was started three years ago, and is run by the Foundation for Promoting Japanese Culture, which is extremely closely associated with Association of Shinto Shrines. (I suspect that there are legal reasons, to do with the regulations for religious corporations and secular foundations, for having two organisations, but I don’t know.) The Association of Shinto Shrines is overseeing the examination, with the goal of spreading accurate knowledge about Shinto and jinja.

The examination for Jinja Kentei is, of course, held only in Japanese, and is based on Japanese texts. Each examination is 100 multiple-choice questions, taken over the course of a little less than two hours. The examination now has three levels: Level 3, the easiest, Level 2, and Level 1, the hardest. Level 3 was first held in 2012, Level 2 in 2013, and Level 1 this year. In order to take Level 1, you must first pass Level 2, but you may take Level 2 without passing Level 3, and may take Levels 2 and 3 in the same year.

The fact that the examination and its texts are only available in Japanese is further evidence of a fact about the current situation: no-one can really get to know and understand Shinto unless they speak and read Japanese well. This is why my first recommendation for people with a serious interest in Shinto is that they start learning Japanese. It will take a long time to get to the necessary level, so you should start learning Japanese first, and look further into what material is available in English once you have that in progress.

Incidentally, if you read Japanese well, the official textbooks for the examination (six volumes so far) make up an extremely good introduction to Shinto. The most basic volume covers the real basics, then there is a volume of history, a book about the legends, a book about various matsuri held across Japan, a book about sengū, the ceremonies in which shrines are rebuilt or repaired, and the kami moved to the new structure, with a particular emphasis on Jingū at Ise. The Level 1 textbook goes into quite a lot of academic detail about important concepts, people, and organisations in Shinto, both now and historically, and is a good way to get more depth. The plan is to issue another Level 1 textbook next year, and there may be a new textbook for Level 2, as well, as Level 3 got a new text this year.

To return to the examination itself, I took each exam in the first year it was offered, and passed all of them. In total, 164 people passed Level 1 this year, a pass rate of 27.1%. Because the foundation publishes the distribution of the scores, giving the number of people with each total score, I also know that 145 of the people who passed did so with a lower score than I achieved. (12 had a higher score, with 3 people on the highest score of 90; there were a total of 7 people with my score of 85.)

In other words, not only do I know a lot about Shinto, I know more about it than almost all Japanese people, including almost all of those who have an interest in it. According to an article in Jinja Shinpō, the newspaper of the Association of Shinto Shrines, Level 3 is roughly equivalent to the information gained in the first year of the four-year course for training Shinto priests. (The practical skills are, of course, not covered in the exam.) I don’t know where Level 1 matches up to, however.

I believe that this means that I am qualified, in terms of background knowledge, to write a game with a Shinto setting.

Apr 122014

Development of Kannagara is on hiatus at the moment, while I try to clear up some projects with deadlines (or, in one case, finish a project that has been underway for more than seven years). To fill in the space, I want to introduce some of the topics that Shinto priests and practitioners are actively concerned with.

To do that, I’m going to provide extremely short summaries of all the articles in one issue of Jinja Shinpo. Jinja Shinpo is a weekly newspaper, published by a company that is effectively controlled by the Association of Shinto Shrines. It is not exactly the house journal, but it is close. This is not the only approach to Shinto found in Japan, but it is arguably the most important.

The issue I’m going to summarise is the one for March 17th, because that’s the most recent one that I have finished reading. I’m a bit behind. It has six pages, which is the normal length. While all issues are different, as would be expected in a newspaper, this one is fairly typical. I’m not going to comment on the contents in this article; I may respond in the comments.

Front Page

  • The ceremony marking the end of the distribution of shrine plaques from the inner shrine of the Grand Shrines of Ise (Jingu).
  • A meeting discussing new strategies to increase the number of Jingu shrine plaques distributed, from the current level of about 8,750,000.
  • The importance of Shinto involvement in defending Japan’s rights to all disputed territories, and overcoming negative depictions of Japan’s war record.
  • A meeting for talks on the importance of maintaining Japan’s rights to all disputed territories, having pride in the beautiful Japanese spirit, and taking action again anti-Japanese propaganda in global media.

Page 2

  • The importance of the Japanese Emperor in Shinto.
  • Revising the festival to mark the start of distribution of Jingu shrine plaques.
  • Thefts of Komainu in Kyushu.
  • Preparations for major matsuri at Yasukuni Jinja and the local jinja to war dead to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.
  • Discussion of how to deal with people who fall ill or become infectious during training sessions. (Perfect attendance is normally required to pass, which encourages people who are ill to turn up anyway, and give flu to everyone else.)
  • A training session for Jichinsai, the matsuri performed before work begins on a new building.
  • Appointments and Obituaries of Shinto priests.

Page 3

  • The transfer of the kami to a temporary building in preparation for major repairs on the honden of Ohkunitama Jinja in Aichi Prefecture.
  • A matsuri to mark a sumo tournament at Sumiyoshi Taisha in Osaka, a jinja with a long association with sumo, attended by both the then-current Yokozuna.
  • A fortune-telling ceremony to predict the price of somen noodles, at Ohmiwa Jinja.
  • A ceremony to honour old and broken sewing needles, at Osaka Tenmangu.
  • The importance of a grateful heart.

Page 4

  • Four articles describing local activities to mark the accession of Jinmu Tenno (in 660BC), in Hokkaido, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and Iwate.
  • Two articles describing the dissolution of prefectural associations to support the Shikinen Sengu at Jingu, in Yamagata and Yamaguchi.
  • A meeting to discuss ways to preserve kagura (sacred dance) in Miyazaki Prefecture, in particular getting people to form the next generation of dancers.
  • The current special exhibition at the Jingu Art Gallery.

Page 5

  • Unveiling an engraved stone expressing thanks for the activities of the Japan Self Defence Forces, the police, the fire service, and the coast guard, at the Nagasaki shrine to the war dead.
  • Performing a matsuri in memory of kamikaze pilots at one of their former bases.
  • A training session at Yasukuni Jinja on the importance of honouring the war dead.
  • The long connection between a jinja and the local elementary school, which was originally built on the jinja grounds, and where the priests taught.
  • A description of Watatsumi Jinja on Tsushima island.
  • It is good that traditional Japanese dress is still something people wear as clothes, not just as a costume.

Page 6

  • Book Review: A book about the White Stone Ceremony at Jingu in Ise.
  • Book Review: A book about Ikuta Jinja and Kobe
  • The importance of Shinto priests taking a stand in favour of whaling and against animal rights.
Dec 272013

This post is not directly concerned with Kannagara, but it is concerned with a very important aspect of contemporary Shinto — its connection with the ultranationalism and militarism of Japan in the Second World War. This is an aspect that, as least to start with, I plan to avoid in the game, but it is something that anyone interested in Shinto needs to be aware of.

You may have gathered from the news that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Yasukuni Jinja on December 26th. (See the Guardian, the BBC, Foreign Policy, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and the Mirror.)

Yasukuni Jinja was founded in 1869 (as Tokyo Shokonsha) to enshrine the spirits of those who had died fighting on the side of the Meiji Emperor in the civil war that brought him to power. In many ways, it serves the same function as a war memorial in Britain; it is not a cemetery, and the war dead enshrined there generally have graves elsewhere. Although the war dead as venerated as Shinto kami, that does not mean that they are worshipped, nor that they are necessarily thought of as particularly virtuous. They are honoured because they laid down their lives for their country, just like soldiers at a war memorial.

However, as Japan became increasingly fascist and militarist in the 1930s, Yasukuni Jinja came to occupy a central place in the ideology. Unlike most jinja, which were under the control of the Home Ministry, Yasukuni Jinja was controlled by the Army and Navy Ministry. This history means that it was one of the very few shrines that the US occupying forces seriously considered closing, and also means that it was an important symbol for people who still believed the ideology they had been brought up with.

In 1978, the chief priest enshrined a group of convicted war criminals in the jinja. The Japanese emperor, who had frequently visited the jinja before that, did not visit afterwards. His son, the current emperor, has also not visited since then. This is the point that most often causes trouble overseas, as China and South Korea accuse the jinja of worshipping war criminals. Obviously, this is not true, as that is just not what Shinto jinja do, but the close connection of the jinja to militarist ideology and the inclusion of war criminals among the enshrined spirits means that it is a very charged symbol. The museum run by the jinja that is said to valorise Japan’s role in WWII does nothing to help. (I haven’t actually seen the museum, but I trust the sources that say it is distorted.)

On the other hand, Yasukuni Jinja has been the place Japan enshrines its war dead since 1869. It predates aggressive militarism by at least 30 years, and postdates it by about 70. Yasukuni Jinja is the place that, for most Japanese, memorialises the war dead. Some people venerate it for that, and others despise it, but it really isn’t possible to just substitute some other location. There is another place, Chidorigafuchi cemetery, but I don’t think many Japanese are even aware that that exists.

However, Yasukuni Jinja is not the only jinja in the precincts. There are also two subsidiary jinja. One of these is Chinreisha. Chinreisha was established in 1965, and enshrines everyone, of any nationality, who died in war, with the exception of those people enshrined in Yasukuni Jinja itself. In other words, Chinreisha enshrines the Japanese civilians who died in the air raids on Tokyo, and in the atomic bombings, and also enshrines the Chinese soldiers and civilians killed by the Japanese during the Rape of Nanking, and the prisoners of war who were worked to death on the Burma railroad. Chinreisha is not very well known in Japan. It was not even open to the public until 2006, and it is very small, hidden off to one side of the main shrine. It is quite possible to visit Yasukuni Jinja many times and not even be aware that Chinreisha exists. (I know someone who has done so.)

That is the necessary background to understand why I think that Abe’s visit has been very badly reported in the western media. At the press conference he held after his visit, Abe described what he had done. He had visited Yasukuni Jinja, and put his hands together to honour those who had sacrificed their lives for their country. Then he had visited Chinreisha, and put his hands together to swear that Japan would never wage war again, and would work to create a world in which there were no more wars. (He made sure to explain what Chinreisha was at the press conference, for the benefit of everyone in the audience who had never heard of it.) (Daily Yomiuri has his remarks at the press conference online.)

I have not seen any western media reports that even mention his visit to Chinreisha. As far as I am aware, it is completely unprecedented. I don’t think any previous prime ministers visited, nor do I think that any of the visits by parliamentarians have included Chinreisha. Given how reluctant Japanese people are to do unprecedented things in general, and how conservative Abe is generally reputed to be, this means that he must have made a deliberate decision to visit Chinreisha and make his vow. It was not an afterthought, or conventional. His visit to Yasukuni, on the other hand, was conventional; he used the standard phrase to describe the spirits enshrined there.

If, then, we follow the normal rule that we should attach more significance to the things that people do outside convention than to the things they do within it, Abe’s visit to Chinreisha was more important than his visit to Yasukuni. His choice to swear to the victims of Japanese militarism, both Japanese and foreign, than Japan would never wage war again should, therefore, be taken seriously.

The date on which he chose to visit is also significant. December 26th was the first anniversary of his taking office as prime minister. One purpose of his visit was to report to the war dead on his leadership of the country. However, December 26th is not a significant date in the history of the war, nor was it a significant date when Yasukuni Jinja was a central part of State Shinto. Previous prime ministerial visits have generally been on the date marking the end of WWII, August 15th. Thus, once again Abe broke precedent, to visit on a day that was personally significant to him as prime minister, but which had no significance for the militarist regime responsible for the war. While news reports have mentioned the date (naturally), I have seen very little discussion of its significance.

Taking these factors together, Abe seems to have taken real steps to dissociate his visit to Yasukuni Jinja from militarism. Just to re-emphasise:

He swore to the victims of Japan’s war to renounce war.

Of course, it didn’t work. It is possible that he was counting on the media carefully and accurately reporting his visit, or at least picking up on the visit to Chinreisha after he repeatedly stressed it at the press conference. I find it a bit hard to believe that someone with so much experience in politics could be so naive about the media, though. Given that he must have expected it to make little impact, that leaves the option that he was actually sincere.

Even so, I don’t think he should have gone. The visit has annoyed the Chinese, true, but they were just looking for an excuse. It has also annoyed the South Koreans, who had just asked the Japanese Self Defence Forces for military aid (a supply of bullets) in the UN peace-keeping operation in South Sudan. There, I think it may have closed down a real chance for repairing damaged relations. This was completely predictable in advance. I think that Abe’s personal conviction that he ought to visit Yasukuni over-rode those concerns, and so he turned his attention to making the visit into as obvious a prayer for peace as he could manage. The failure of that strategy was also, I fear, obvious in advance.

I think, then, that Abe made a mistake in visiting Yasukuni Jinja, but I think that the evidence is that his claim that he visited it to swear to avoid war and work to make it unnecessary should be taken seriously. I think he was sincere.

Dec 142013

Today, I finished the first draft of the first playtest scenario. The next step is to try playing it, to see whether it works. This very first playtest will be very limited in numbers, because the game might well not work at all, and I will use the feedback from it to revise and improve the rules of the game. The scenario itself will probably also need some revision, but at this point I’m more concerned about getting the rules of the game right.

This is an important milestone. I just hope that the game isn’t so bad that it’s also the end of the journey.

Dec 032013

Today, I’ve made good progress on Kannagara. The first playtest scenario is nearly finished in first draft. I think I need another day to get it done, which augurs well for it being completed within the year. Then I will try to recruit some people to actually try it, to find out whether it is at all playable.

One thing that I’m a bit concerned about is that the freedom of the players to decide what their environment is like is a bit limited in this draft. On the other hand, I dropped that because I decided that it was a good idea to try to get the basic structure working first, and then add the more elaborate things afterwards. The final introductory scenario may well include more opportunity to change things than this one.

Nov 262013

There have been no updates to the blog for the last couple of weeks because I’ve not made any progress on the game. My family all came to Japan for my daughter’s Shichigosan ceremony, so I haven’t had any time to work on this project. Shichigosan is a Shinto ceremony, so it is, at least, a thematically appropriate distraction.

Today, I’ve looked over the files again, reminded myself of where I was up to, and, I think, got myself into a good position to do more work on the game later this week. Still, for now there has been no concrete progress.

Nov 052013

I’m continuing to work on the introductory scenario.

One of the features of Kannagara is that the players can define the details of the world that their personae live in through their choices as they explore it. The players decide what the personae discover, and those discoveries define the world.

There are two versions of this. In the first, the background is defined by the game material, and the personae discover it. This is going to be an important part of the game, because this is how scenarios will be offered. In the second version, the material provides options. The players can choose to have their personae discover a character, location, or plot, or they can choose to leave it undiscovered and, therefore, not part of their world. This is even more important, because even when the background is defined for a scenario, the players will make the initial decision as to whether that scenario will happen in their game.

So, right now I’m trying to get the second part to work. I think I’ve got most of the way there, but there’s still something missing. In the introductory scenario, this has to be a minor aspect, because an introductory scenario needs to be focused, so that inexperienced players can work out what is going on. Getting it to work for something minor is proving to be difficult. Indeed, in the end I may actually drop this from the scenario, as adding too much complexity. However, before I decide whether to do that, I want to get it working, so that I can use it for important options after the first scenario.

I’m not sure how long it will take me to get this done, but I think it is the last new bit of mechanics, so once this is working it might get easier to get the whole scenario finished. Or it might not…

Oct 292013

Here is a sample of text from the first scenario. This section concerns the creation of the norito for a harae to purify the personae.


The rules for creating each part of the harae are the same, and we will create the norito first.

First, one of the personae must come up with a concept for the norito. To do this, roll a number of dice equal to norito knowledge, and keep a number equal to norito skill, following the standard rules, which are described again below. The quality of the idea is mainly influenced by the persona’s skill at creating norito, but the more a persona knows about norito, the more likely she is to avoid creating something with a serious flaw.

If the persona has a higher score in norito knowledge than in norito skill, keep the highest dice. For example, if the persona has a score of 3 in norito knowledge and 2 in norito skill, roll three dice and keep the best two. If the two scores are equal, keep all the dice. For example, if the persona has scores of 3 in both norito knowledge and norito skill, roll three dice and keep all of them. If norito knowledge is less than norito skill, roll a number of dice equal to norito skill, plus the difference between norito skill and norito knowledge. Then keep the lowest dice, equal in number to the score in norito skill. For example, suppose the persona has a score of 3 in norito knowledge and 5 in norito skill. The difference between the score in norito skill and the score in norito knowledge is two, and when that is added to the score in norito skill the result is seven. Therefore, you should roll seven dice, and keep the lowest five.

Add together all the dice that you keep to get the result of the die roll. For example, in the final case, suppose you roll the dice and get 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5. The lowest five dice are 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, so the result is 14.

None of the personae have scores in norito knowledge or norito skill yet. Every persona receives 4 points with which we can buy these abilities. We may also use any points we have left over from previous scenes. If you want your persona to participate in creating the norito, it is better to have a score of at least 1 in each ability, as both will be kept at some point in the process.

All of the personae may roll once to come up with a concept, and then we can decide which concept we will use.

The difficulty of a concept depends on how many steps it will add to the harae.

1 step: Conception 1, Implementation 8

2 steps: Conception 4, Implementation 14

3 steps: Conception 7, Implementation 20

4 steps: Conception 10, Implementation 26

5 steps: Conception 13, Implementation 32

A persona may come up with any concept, as long as the conception difficulty is equal to or lower than her total on the conception roll. If her result on the conception roll is greater than the conception difficulty, she may subtract the difference from the implementation difficulty.

For example, suppose that a persona gets a result of 12 on the conception roll. She could choose to have a 1 step idea, with a conception difficulty of 1. She would have 11 points left over, so she could reduce the implementation difficulty to 0, meaning that there would be no chance of failure in writing the norito; she just needs to take a little time to write it down. She could also choose a 2 step idea, and reduce the implementation difficulty by 8 points, to 6. This idea would be easy to turn into a norito, and she would almost certainly succeed on the first roll. If she chose a 3 step concept, she could reduce the implementation difficulty by 5 points, to 15. This is likely to take some cooperation and revision, but it should be within the personae’s abilities. Finally, she could choose a 4 step idea, and reduce the implementation difficulty to 24. This is likely to be difficult to create, but if the personae really need those four steps, they should try it. Her conception roll is not good enough to get a 5 step idea.

The descriptions of all the concepts are the same: “A norito asking the kami of harae to purify us of the kegare we are carrying.” The personae understand the differences in the concepts, but they know about norito, and the players (probably) do not. Players who do know about norito may add more detail to the concept if they wish.

The second stage is for the persona who came up with the idea to start writing it down. Once again, she rolls norito knowledge and keeps norito skill. The player should choose one norito element, a phrase in the norito, to reflect what the personae has created.

Haraetamai kiyometamae — a phrase asking the kami to purify the persona. This would normally go near the end of the norito.
Moromoro no tsumikegare aramuoba — a phrase asking the kami to do something if the persona has any kind of kegare. Tsumi is kegare that a person gets because of something they deliberately do, and tsumikegare indicates both kinds of kegare. This would normally go before a request for purification.

Haraedo no Ohkamitachi — a general term for all the kami of harae.

Seoritsuhime no kami — a female kami of harae, a kami of rivers.

Haya’akitsuhime no kami — a female kami of harae, a kami of sea currents and tides.

Ibukidonushi no kami — a male kami of harae, a kami of the wind.

Hayasasurahime no kami — a female kami of harae, a kami of the underworld.

Izunomë no kami — a female kami of harae.

Kamunaobi no kami — a kami of harae, normally portrayed as male.

All the kami names would normally go before the request for purification, but could come before or after the “moromoro” phrase.

The Japanese phrases are actually included in the norito, while the English explanations are (obviously) not. Norito are written in archaic Japanese, which is not quite the same as modern Japanese; these are the forms for use in a norito. Players who know how to write norito may include appropriate phrases that are not on the list.

If the result of the roll is equal to or greater than the implementation difficulty for the concept, the norito is complete at this stage. For example, if the persona rolled a 12 again, she would complete a 2 step norito, with an implementation difficulty of 6, but not a 3 step norito, with an implementation difficulty of 15. If the norito is not completed, the result of the roll is the progress total towards completing it. For a concrete example, let us say that the concept is for a 3 step norito, so the progress total is 12. The persona includes the phrase “haraetamai kiyometamae”.

If the norito has not yet been completed, the next stage is for a persona other than the one who came up with the idea to look at the draft, and make suggestions for revisions. To assess the draft, the persona should roll norito skill and keep norito knowledge. The main influence on assessment is how much the persona knows about norito, but a persona who is better at creating them is more likely to offer useful advice.

It is harder to make useful comments on a more elaborate concept, so the player subtracts the conception difficulty from the result of the die roll to get the assessment total.

For example, suppose another persona, with 2 dice in both norito knowledge and norito skill, tries to assess the example 3-step norito, and rolls an 11. The conception difficulty for a 3-step norito is 7, so the assessment total is 11–7, or 4.
The assessment total is used to buy a revision element. Each revision element has a cost, to be paid out of the assessment total, and grants a number of dice to keep when trying to revise the norito. A revision element can only be used once for a given norito, and only a single element can be chosen when assessing the norito. In most cases, this means that the player should choose the most expensive element she can afford. However, each revision element fixes some feature of the norito, and the player may wish to avoid including or removing a particular feature, and so choose a different element.

In addition, a revision element may only remove an element that is already present in the norito, and may not require the addition of an element that is already present. It is, however, possible for an element to be added, then removed, then added again. Anyone with experience of writing will know that this is entirely realistic.

The following revision elements are available.

Add one of the elements given above: cost 1, dice 1.

Remove one from the norito: cost 1, dice 1.

Add another phrase that the player knows is appropriate to a norito: cost 1, dice 1.

Include “ashita no migiri, yube no migiri o asakaze, yukaze no fukiharo koto no gotoku” — a phrase from the oharai kotoba, the oldest known harae norito. It likens the removal of kegare to mist being blown away by the wind, which is appropriate here because of the mist in the kamikakushi: cost 4, dice 2.

Include “nigitae, aratae o nagehanatsu koto no gotoku” — a phrase referring to casting away clothing, so if this phase is included in the norito, the haraegu must include removing one or more items of clothing (see later): cost 7, dice 3.

In the example, the persona has an assessment total of 4, and so chooses to recommend adding “ashita no migiri, yube no migiri o asakaze, yukaze no fukiharo koto no gotoku”, giving 2 dice to keep.

The revision of the norito can be carried out by any persona who has read the norito and heard the assessment. The persona who made the assessment always qualifies, and the persona who originally wrote the norito qualifies if she has heard the assessment. However, a third persona who has both read the norito and heard the assessment may also carry out the revisions.
To revise the norito, the player rolls norito skill and keeps the number of dice granted by the revision element. The total is added to the progress total for the norito. The revising personae also chooses one element to add to the norito.

In the example, the revising persona has 2 dice to keep, and gets a total of 9. Added to the current progress total of 12, this takes the total to 21, more than enough to complete the norito. She chooses to add a reference to Ibukidonushi no kami, since a kami of wind is an appropriate match to the phrase about wind blowing mist away.

If a single revision does not allow the completion of the norito, a different persona may assess the revised norito, and make a new suggestion. However, each persona may only assess a norito once, and the original author may not assess it at all. (Normally, a persona may assess something more than once if she sleeps in between assessments, but in this case the personae are not going to sleep in the kamikakushi.)

The personae may work on more than one norito at once as a group, although one persona may only be working on one norito at a time. When they have finished, they can choose the one that they like best to use in the harae.

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