Over at “God Knows What” Chris Kavanagh, an Irish anthropologist who specializes on ritual, has written on the Japanese cold-water purification ceremony (“Misogi”) and his unique participation in it. Please do read Chris’ post — it is superb.
In the comments on Chris’ blog, I discuss the Japanese character for Misogi. Above I illustrate the components for the character to help those interested. Note that though it is a character for a present day ritual centered on water, its original use might have pointed at a purification ceremony which was not based on water. Words and rituals change.
Question to readers: Have you ever intentionally exposed yourself to extreme cold water? Why? How do you think your adventures would differ from Chris’ and the Japanese in the Misogi ritual?