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Matsuri. Japanese festivals. Derived from a verb meaning ‘to attend to’, ‘to entertain’, or ‘to serve the kami’, the souls of the deceased, or a person of higher status, matsuri implies ‘the mental attitude of respect, reverence, and the willingness to listen, serve, and obey’ ( J. M. Kitagawa). Always there is an element of revelation, whereby sacred beings manifest their wills to the human community, which responds in matsuri.

Given the immanental Japanese world-view, every act can be considered an act of matsuri, which in this sense is a ritualization of everyday life. Since the function of government under the imperial system was to actualize the sacred will, the ancient word for government was matsurigoto or ‘matsuri affairs’. Matsuri, or its sinocized pronunciation (-sai), came to refer to special ceremonies at court or at Shinto shrines which involve formal procedures, from the invocation and arrival of kami, through the phase of festive communion (naorai), to their final dispatch. Some form of sacred entertainment always accompanies the communal feast.

In modern Japan, as in the West, the essential context of the festival is often disregarded, resulting in strictly commercial or civil celebrations also known as matsuri.

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matsuriFlorrie, Laurie, lorry, Macquarie, quarry, sorry, whare •Rhodri • Godfrey • hostelry •Coventry • quixotry •cacciatore, Corey, dory, Florey, flory, furore, glory, gory, hoary, hunky-dory, lory, Maury, monsignori, Montessori, multistorey, Pori, Rory, satori, saury, storey, story, Tory, vainglory •Aubrey • aumbry •Audrey, bawdry, tawdry •laundry •gallimaufry, orphrey •palfrey • paltry • outlawry • centaury •clerestory (US clearstory) •understorey •cowrie, kauri, Lowry, Maori •Cowdrey • foundry • Rowntree •ochry (US ochery) • poultry •coxcombry • matsuri • Kirkcudbright •shoetree •Hurri, potpourri •kukri • century • penury • estuary •residuary • augury • mercury

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matsuri a solemn festival celebrated periodically at Shinto shrines in Japan.

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