View Full Version : Bowing Ceremony

6th December 2010, 01:00
Hi all,
I am a Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu member/practitioner. We have a bowing ceremony that I know is linked to Shinto origins. I've asked this question elsewhere, but no one seems to know the answer, or at least wants to share it. We begin as a class by stating a japanese phrase that translates to something like, "let every moment in life bring me closer to enlightenment," then we clap twice, bow, clap once, bow. This is all done while kneeling. What is the significance of the different clapping and bowing? I assume it has to do with Shinto origins so I'm hoping it can be answered here. Thanks!

6th December 2010, 18:02

I was once told it had to do with summoning the shinto gods of war to look over the practice session. I am not sure if it is exactly correct. I used to do the same bowing in Japanese Goju Karate. Gogen Yamaguchi, 10th dan and founder of the GoJu Kai, was also a Shinto priest. I also had the same bow in when doing aiki jujutsu. Hope it helps.

I would also like to know if what I said is exactly correct or if it is way off base.

Hope someone with more knowlege can correct me If I'm wrong.

Kevin Moskie

Richard Elias
2nd May 2012, 07:39
I know it's been years since this was asked...

The Shinto bowing ceremony is called
"ni rei, ni hakushu ippai" 二礼、二拍手、一拝
2 bows, 2 claps, 1 bow

It is to announce your presence to the kami and pay respect. It is believed that the sound vibrations of clapping echo onto “the High Plain of Heaven” where the Shinto gods dwell.

They are not necessarily for “god of war” per’se, but all kami.
Which kami is dependent on those associated with your tradition and/or those beseeched in the prayers you recite.