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Encyclopedia > Miko
Miko at Aso shrine in Aso, Japan
Miko at Aso shrine in Aso, Japan

Miko (巫女? lit. Shrine Maiden) are women in the service of Shinto shrines. Image File history File links Asojinja_Miko. ... Image File history File links Asojinja_Miko. ... Aso (阿蘇町; -machi) is a town in Aso District, Japan. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... A torii is a gate leading to a jinja. ...

Contents

Background

The Miko tradition dates back to the ancient eras of Japan. In ancient times, women who went into trances and conveyed prophecy or the words of the gods were called Miko, not unlike the Oracle at Delphi of ancient Greece. For other uses, see Pythia (disambiguation). ...


Later, miko were young female attendants at Shinto shrines. They were often the daughter(s) of the priest who presided over a given shrine. Roles of the miko included performing in ceremonial dances (miko-mai) and assisting priests in various ceremonies, especially weddings. The tradition continues and today miko can be found at many Shinto shrines. In modern times most Miko are part-time employees or volunteers. Their duties include assisting with shrine functions, performing ceremonial dances, offering Omikuji (a type of fortune telling), and staffing shrine shops. Tying omikuji at Kasuga Shrine in Nara Omikuji (おみくじ) are random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. ...


It is somewhat difficult to assign a strict definition or English equivalent to the Japanese word "Miko", though "shrine maiden" is most often used. Other terms that have been used as equivalents are prophet, medium, priestess, nun, witch, or sorceress. It should be noted that although Shinto has female priests - the term "priestess" is not used in Shinto - they are not the same as miko: miko do not have the same degree of authority as that of an actual priest, although they can serve as the senior cleric of a shrine if no priest is available. The unique exception to this is that in ancient times, the prophecy revealed by Miko was considered to be handed down directly from the kami (spirits). For other senses of this word, see Prophet (disambiguation). ... In spirituality, a medium or spirit medium (plural mediums) is an individual who possesses the ability to receive messages from spirits (discorporate entities), or claims that he or she can channel such entities — that is, write or speak in the voice of these entities rather than in the mediums... This article is about religious workers. ... For other uses, see Nun (disambiguation). ... “Witch” redirects here. ... A sorcerer (from Old French sorcier; fem. ... “Megami” redirects here. ...

Miko in ceremonial attire at a festival in Gion, Kyoto.
Miko in ceremonial attire at a festival in Gion, Kyoto.

Theoretically, miko were required to be virgins, however, exceptions have historically been made when one is imbued with a strong character. It is probably true that when a woman who was serving as a miko married, she abandoned her duties at the shrine in order to be with her husband and new family. This rule has since been mostly removed in modern times, though most still leave the service of the shrine or train for the priesthood should they wed. Image File history File links Ceremonial-miko. ... Image File history File links Ceremonial-miko. ... Part of the ceremony of the Changing of the Guard in Whitehall, London. ... Shirakara Canal in the Gion district, showing the rear of some ochaya Exclusive restaurants line the streets of Gion. ... Kyoto )   is a city in the central part of the island of HonshÅ«, Japan. ... In Roman times, Vestal Virgins were strictly celibate or they were punished by death. ...


The attire of a miko (traditionally and still worn today) consists of hakama, a kimono shirt, and tabi. Occasionally miko wear a thin white haori called "chihaya." The hakama is usually red, but other colors are not unheard of. The kimono shirt has long, wide sleeves and is always white, as white is a symbol of purity. White or red ribbons often adorn a miko's hair. Hakama worn by an aikidoka (left of the picture) An Edo-era kamishimo outfit, consisting of a kataginu (a sleeveless jacket with exaggerated shoulders) (left) and hakama (centre). ... A traditional wedding kimono The kimono literally something worn) is the national costume of Japan. ... Traditional wearing of Japanish woman Tabi (足袋) are traditional Japanese ankle high, divided-toe socks. ... Japanese woman in a kimono, ca. ...




In fiction

Wikipe-tan as an anime-like miko.
Wikipe-tan as an anime-like miko.

Miko are common characters in some Japanese literature, manga, and anime. Miko are often stock characters and are readily identified by their distinctive costume. Perhaps the most common depiction of a Miko has the character sweeping the grounds of a shrine with a bamboo-shafted broom. In some romantic stories, especially bishōjo video games and visual novels, miko are usually portrayed as attractive but extremely stuffy, temperamental girls--often due to limited or negative exposure to boys. This is in stark contrast to the friendly and demure stereotype of the Christian nun in such stories. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 257 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (900 × 2100 pixel, file size: 464 KB, MIME type: image/png) Wikipe-tans illustration, drawn by ja:利用者:Kasuga. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 257 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (900 × 2100 pixel, file size: 464 KB, MIME type: image/png) Wikipe-tans illustration, drawn by ja:利用者:Kasuga. ... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... Animé redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A bishōjo game (美少女ゲーム bishōjo gÄ“mu); more often spelled bishoujo game), also known as a girl game/gal game is a type of Japanese video game centered around interactions with attractive anime-style girls. ... A visual novel is an interactive fiction game featuring mostly static graphics, usually with anime-style art. ... For other uses, see Nun (disambiguation). ...


Despite this mundane image, manga and anime typically portray the miko as a heroine who fights evil spirits, demons, and ghosts, often with magical or supernatural powers. In such stories miko are generally depicted as being skilled in some variety of martial art, especially the use of a traditional Japanese weapon such as yumi (longbow), tanto (knife), or any of the various Japanese swords: katana, wakizashi, etc. Miko are almost always attributed the ability to do magic of various sorts, especially o-fuda and various forms of divination. In western role-playing games, they are sometimes treated as rough equivalents to character classes such as Clerics, "white witches", or Paladins. These miko are sometimes referred to as Betsushikime. In some cases, historical miko, such as Izumo no Okuni, were believed to have been betsushikime. For other uses, see Hero (disambiguation). ... Yumi (弓, ゆみ) is the Japanese term for bows (which includes the longbow, Daikyu and the shortbow, hankyu) used in the practice of Kyudo (弓道, Japanese archery). ... Two Tantō tantō blade hidden in a fan-shaped mounting A Tantō (短刀) is a Japanese knife or dagger with a blade length of about 15 - 30 cm (6 - 12). There is a disputed saying about the tantō, wakizashi, and katana stating they are The Tantō differs from the others as... For other uses, see Katana (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... O-fuda (御札) is a gofu (護符) or a talisman issued by Shinto shrine. ... For other uses, see Divination (disambiguation). ... This article is about traditional role-playing games. ... Okuni, wearing a samurai sword and a Christian cross. ...


Kuro Miko ("Black Miko", though more often translated as Dark Miko or Dark Priestess) are fictional, evil counterparts to traditional miko in Japanese fiction such as manga. They often serve renegade priests or actual demons. The kuro miko is often very versed at demonology and has a strong command of black magic, and wear a darker version of the traditional outfit (burgundy, gold, or black instead of red), sometimes with a mask. Such characters have appeared in InuYasha and Shrine of the Morning Mist. Look up renegade in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Demonology is the systematic study of demons or beliefs about demons. ... For other uses, see Black magic (disambiguation). ... Inuyasha redirects here. ... Serialized in Young King Ours Original run March 2000 – Ongoing Volumes 4 TV anime Director Yuji Moriyama Studio Chaos Project Gansis Network TV Tokyo Original run July 4, 2002 – December 26, 2002 Episodes 26 Shrine of the Morning Mist ) is a manga and anime series in the modern fantasy genre...


Examples of miko

Okuni, wearing a samurai sword and a Christian cross. ... The oldest Kabuki theatre in Japan: the Minamiza in Kyoto The Kabukiza in Ginza is one of Tokyos leading kabuki theaters. ... Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America (sometimes known as Tsubaki America Jinja) is the first Shinto shrine built in the mainland United States. ...

Fictional

Animé redirects here. ... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... Kannazuki no Miko ) is a series created by Kaishaku centering around two girls and the yuri relationship they share. ... This article lists the characters from the Japanese manga and anime series Lucky ☆ Star. ... Animé redirects here. ... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... Lucky ☆ Star ) is a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga by Kagami Yoshimizu. ... Rei Hino , or Raye in the English versions) is one of the central characters in the Sailor Moon metaseries. ... Animé redirects here. ... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... For the title character, see Sailor Moon (character) and for the first story arc, see Sailor Moon (arc). ... Kikyo ) is a character in the manga and anime series InuYasha. ... Kaede Kaede (楓) is a miko in the manga and anime series Inuyasha. ... Midoriko (翠子) was a great miko (Shrine Maiden) from the past in the anime series InuYasha. ... Kagome Higurashi ) is a fictional character from the manga and anime series InuYasha. ... Animé redirects here. ... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... Inuyasha redirects here. ... This is a list of the characters that belong to the Touhou Project, a series of games by ZUN from Team Shanghai Alice. ... Touhou redirects here. ... Animé redirects here. ... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... Haunted Junction is a horror / comedy anime and manga series created by Nemu Mukudori. ... For other uses, see Ghost (disambiguation). ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... Takiko Okuda (奧田 多喜子 Okuda Takiko) is the heroine Priestess of Genbu from Yuu Watases Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden. ... Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden(ふしぎ遊戯玄武開伝) is a Japanese manga written by YÅ« Watase. ... The Society of Light ) is a fictional cult in the anime series Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX in Japan) appearing between episodes 53-104. ... Animé redirects here. ... This article is about the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime. ... Miaka YÅ«ki (夕城 美朱 YÅ«ki Miaka) is the main character in the manga and anime series Fushigi YÅ«gi. ... Fushigi YÅ«gi (ふしぎ 遊戯; literally Mystery Game but usually rendered Mysterious Play) is a Japanese manga (later an anime) created by Yuu Watase and serialized in the manga magazine Shōjo Comic. ... Fushigi Yūgi (不思議遊戯 lit. ... 天(てん) の 龍(りゅう) The Dragons Of Heaven Ten No RyÅ« The Dragons of Heaven 七(ななつ) の 封(ふう) 印(いん) The Seven Seals Nanatsu No FÅ«in In the manga series X created by the popular mangaka circle CLAMP, the Dragons of Heaven are a group of seven individuals who are fated to stand against the Dragons of Earth... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... Animé redirects here. ... Serialized in Monthly Asuka Original run May 24, 1992 – ON HIATUS No. ... Animé redirects here. ... Serialized in Gangan Powered (Onikakushi-hen & Tsumihoroboshi-hen) Gangan WING (Watanagashi-hen & Meakashi-hen) GFantasy (Tatarigoroshi-hen & Yoigoshi-hen) Gangan (Himatsubushi-hen) Comp Ace (Onisarashi-hen & Utsutsukowashi-hen) Original run March 2006 – Volumes 14 Light novel Author Ryukishi07 Artist Yutori Hōjō, Mimori, Jirō Suzuki, Karin Suzuragi, Yoshiki Tonogai Publisher... Chizuru Kagura is a videogame character from the King of Fighters series. ... The King of Fighters ), or KOF for short, is a fighting game series by SNK that debuted in 1994. ... The Orochi (オロチ) in The King of Fighters is a version of the Kusanagi legend. ... Pocky and Rocky (known as KiKi KaiKai in Japan) was an action/shootem up game released for the Super Nintendo in 1992. ... The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, also known as Super Nintendo, Super NES or SNES, is a 16-bit video game console released by Nintendo in North America, Brazil, Europe, and Australia. ... Pocky and Rocky was an action/shootem up game released for the Super Nintendo in 1992. ... Serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump Shonen Jump Banzai! Original run 1998 – 2004 Volumes 32 TV anime Director Seiji Mizushima Studio XEBEC Network TV Tokyo Original run July 4, 2001 – September 25, 2002 Episodes 64 Specials The Documents of the Shaman Fight (Yujo no Katachi) The Form that Friendship Takes (Ai... NOTE: The following Character descriptions are drawn primarily from the original manga. ... Negima! a manga written by Ken Akamatsu, same creator of Love Hina. ... Mina Hakuba is a character in the Game Boy Advance game Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. ... Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is a game that is a part of the Castlevania video game series. ... Atlach=Nacha is an obscure visual novel by Alice Soft under the genres romance and horror. It is named after Clark Ashton Smiths creation Atlach-Nacha, the spider-god from the Cthulhu Mythos. ...

See also

  • [[List of fictional clergy and religious figures#Miko is a dogname to

External links

  • Odamachi:Miko, Shinto shrine Maidens
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Miko

  Results from FactBites:
 
Miko at AllExperts (710 words)
The traditional costume or dress of a miko is a chihaya, which consists of a scarlet red hakama, either pants or a skirt; a white kimono shirt with swinging sleeves (and oftentimes red trim); and tabi.
In such stories miko are generally depicted as being skilled in some variety of martial art, especially the use of a traditional Japanese weapon such as yumi (longbow), tanto (knife), or any of the various Japanese swords: katana, wakizashi, etc. Miko are almost always attributed the ability to do magic of various sorts, especially o-fuda.
The kuro miko is often very versed at demonology and has a strong command of fl magic, and wear a darker version of the traditional outfit (burgundy, gold, or fl instead of red), sometimes with a mask.
miko: Information from Answers.com (785 words)
Miko in ceremonial attire at a festival in Gion, Kyoto.
Theoretically, miko were required to be virgins, however, exceptions have historically been made when one is imbued with a strong character.
Miko are often stock characters and are readily identified by their distinctive costume.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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