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Norito

Norito (Jap., probably ‘words stated with awe’). In Shinto, sacred words and prayers expressed in elegant ancient Japanese and addressed to the kami in Shinto worship. The use of norito is related to the traditional belief in spiritual power residing in beautiful and correctly spoken words (koto-dama). The earliest norito texts are in Engi-shiki, a law book compiled in the 10th cent. CE. Typical norito give praise of the kami, make reference to the origin of the specific rite or festival, express thanksgiving to the kami, report to or petition the kami, enumerate the offerings presented, identify the persons on whose behalf the prayers are recited and the priests who are reciting them, and finally add some parting words of respect and awe.

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