The Shrine of Heaven's Mirror was an order of the Brotherhood of Shinsei devoted to tend the heavenly nemuranai known as Heaven's Mirror, located in a small shrine of the same name. [1]

Foundation Edit

In the late 9th century a peasant woman named Rei found a piece of polished metal in the water, which displayed images of the Spirit Realms and the creatures therein. Transfigured by this experience, she became a monastic hermit, seeking further visions of the reality outside Ningen-do. She lived in the shrine until she passed away in the early 10th century. Her followers followed Rei's duty, and the order of the Heaven's Mirror was founded. [1]

Shrine Edit

The Shrine itself had been rebuilt twice, having a simple gate, a large graveled courtyard, a dormitory and refectory for the monks, and a small, dark building that housed the polished metal fragment. [1]

Festival of the Mirror Edit

The mirror was brought out once a year on the ninth day of the Month of the Tiger, the anniversary of Rei's discovery. During the Festival of the Mirror, any participant might claim the right to look in the mirror. Those who fell into ecstatic visions as Rei herself did, used to join the order. [2]

Tradition Edit

Followers of this path were ascetic and largely solitary, and they had communities in the shrine itself, or in any mountain or forest in which a handful of monks resided. They were seen as a revival of primitive shamanism practices, which predated the Fall of the Kami. They cultivated the ability to enter a trance state, depriving themselves of sleep for days on end, drinking alcohol to the point of delirium, dancing with wild and exhausting abandon, and consuming hallucinogenic plants such as datura, often risking death in the process. [3] They sought to extend their perceptions beyond the ordinary reality of Ningen-do with this trance state. [4]

Known Technique Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Book of Water, p. 96
  2. Book of Water, pp. 96-97
  3. Book of Water, p. 97
  4. Book of Water, p. 187

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