Miko Hair Ritual

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The sun was just beginning to rise over the mountains as two young girls emerged from their small, traditional house on the outskirts of the shrine. They were dressed in simple white robes, their hair tied back in a neat bun. Their names were Akari and Emi, and they were both Mikos at the shrine.

As they made their way towards the main shrine building, they could see a flurry of activity all around them. Other Mikos were scurrying about, carrying baskets of offerings or sweeping the temple steps. It was the day of the festival, and the shrine was buzzing with excitement.

The festival was a special one, held only once every two years. It was a time when the Mikos of the shrine gathered together to pay tribute to the goddess of beauty. But it was also a time of sacrifice. Every two years, two young girls were chosen to be the “hair sacrifice” for the goddess. They would have their hair cut off and offered up to the goddess as a symbol of their devotion.

The two girls had known for some time that they were both eligible for selection. Every year, the priestess of the shrine would choose a number of young girls to train as potential hair sacrifices. The girls would be taken into the shrine and made to stay there for eight months, undergoing special training and hair treatments.

For Akari and Emi, the selection had come as no surprise. They were both the right age – sixteen – and had been chosen for their beauty and long, thick hair. Both girls were nervous but excited at the prospect of being chosen.

As they arrived at the main shrine building, they saw that the other Mikos were already gathered there. They were all dressed in traditional garb, their hair neatly styled. There was a sense of anticipation in the air, and the girls could feel their hearts racing.

Suddenly, the priestess appeared at the entrance to the shrine. She was an imposing figure, dressed in a flowing robe and with her hair piled high on her head. She looked out at the gathered Mikos and spoke in a clear, ringing voice.

“My children,” she said. “Today is a special day. Today, we offer up our hair to the goddess of beauty. But before we do, we must choose the two girls who will be our hair sacrifices.”

There was a hushed silence as the priestess scanned the crowd. Akari and Emi held their breath, their eyes fixed on the priestess. Suddenly, the priestess pointed at them.

“You,” she said. “And you. Akari and Emi. You have been chosen to be our hair sacrifices.”

The girls could hardly believe it. They had been chosen! Their hearts were racing as the other Mikos gathered around them, congratulating them and offering words of encouragement. But they also felt a sense of foreboding. They knew that the next eight months would be grueling.

As the girls were led into the shrine, they could see that preparations had already begun for the ritual. The shrine had been decorated with flowers and incense, and the air was thick with the scent of jasmine and sandalwood. The girls were taken to a small room at the back of the shrine, where they would spend the next eight months.

The room was small and austere, with nothing but a bed and a small table. But the girls were not here to enjoy the comforts of life. They were here to train. And the training would be intense.

For the next eight months, the girls would undergo a rigorous regime of hair treatments and beauty rituals. They would be oiled and massaged every week, their hair washed with strange fluids that were said to make it grow thicker and stronger. They would be made to wear special hairnets at night, to prevent their hair from getting tangled or damaged. They would also be taught traditional dances and chants, which they would perform during the festival.

At first, Akari and Emi found the training to be grueling. They were used to a simple life in their village, and the strict discipline of the shrine was a shock to their systems. But as the weeks and months went by, they began to adapt. They grew stronger and more resilient, their bodies and minds honed by the rigorous training.

As the day of the festival approached, the girls began to feel a sense of excitement. They had never performed in front of such a large audience before, and they were determined to do their best. They rehearsed tirelessly, perfecting their dances and chants.

Finally, the day of the festival arrived. The girls were bathed and shampooed, their hair silky and smooth. They were not allowed to wear any garments and were told to walk to the shrine only in traditional dress. This was to show their purity and devotion to the goddess.

As they made their way to the shrine, they could see that the streets were lined with people. Villagers from all over the region had come to witness the ritual. The girls felt a surge of nervous energy as they made their way towards the shrine.

When they arrived, they could see that the other Mikos were already gathered there. The shrine was packed with people, all eager to witness the sacrifice. The girls felt a sense of awe as they looked around at the sea of faces.

The ritual began with a traditional dance, performed by each of the Mikos in turn. Akari and Emi were the last to perform, and they put all their energy into the dance. They moved with grace and beauty, their long hair swaying with each step.

When the dance was over, the priestess stepped forward to perform the sacrifice. She held a pair of large scissors in her hand, and the girls could feel their hearts pounding as she approached them.

Akari and Emi couldn’t believe what was happening. They had expected their hair to be cut, but they had never imagined it would be done in such a brutal way. They felt like animals being led to the slaughter.

The girls were then instructed to strip off naked, leaving only their loin cloth on. The priest took out a sword and began to slash their ponytail like an animal sacrifice by chopping their hair until it was breast length. The girls were terrified, but they knew that this was the price they had to pay for the honor of being chosen as hair sacrifices.

After the ritual, the girls were taken to a cave, where they were washed and prepared for their final haircut. Each of the 500 girls was given a seat and was caped, with a barber standing behind them, ready to cut their hair.

Akari and Emi watched nervously as the barber approached them with a pair of scissors. They knew that their long hair was about to be cut off, and they couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss. Their hair had been a part of them for as long as they could remember, and the thought of losing it was overwhelming.

The barber began to cut their hair, first trimming it to chin length and then giving them a bob with shaved bangs. The girls could feel the weight of their hair being lifted, and they felt a sense of lightness they had never experienced before.

When the haircuts were done, the girls were given a new set of clothes and led back to the shrine. They had completed their training, and they were now full-fledged Mikos, ready to serve the goddess of beauty.

Over the next few days, the girls performed various rituals and dances, each one more beautiful than the last. The people of the village were in awe of their beauty, and they felt a sense of reverence for the Mikos.

Akari and Emi felt a sense of pride as they danced and chanted, their newly short hair swaying with each movement. They had sacrificed their hair for the goddess, and they felt that they had been blessed in return.

As the festival came to a close, the girls prepared to leave the shrine and return to their villages. They had been transformed by their experience, and they knew that they would never forget the lessons they had learned.

They had learned that beauty was more than just a physical attribute. It was a reflection of one’s devotion and inner strength. And they had learned that true beauty came from sacrifice and dedication, even if that meant sacrificing something as precious as their hair.


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