- The rite of 'pacifying fire' by walking on red-hot charcoal. Straw mats forming a pathway about five metres long and one metre wide are covered with sand, and on top of them is placed a bed of glowing charcoal. Bamboos with fronds still on them are stuck around the pathway and joined with straw rope hung with shide, effectively making the site a himorogi. In some cases the moon-deity is petitioned to descend and pacify the god of fire. Participants then circumambulate the walkway, preparing themselves for the fire-walking. Salt is spread on the hot coals at each end and the lead priest and followers walk across the coals. When this part of the ceremony is completed onlookers can take part in the firewalking. The rite may be interpreted, for example in Ontake-kyo and Shinshu-kyo, as a rite of purification of the devotee following the 'pacification' of the hot element of fire.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.