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Jyo - Cleansing

Cleaning and religion continued to have an intimate relationship, as can be seen in songs and prayers. For example in one such prayer to the “houkigami” (broom god) the woman tells her husband "I won’t clean till you are safely returned, go and come back". The custom and development of cleaning tools gradually came into popular use by the common people and festivals using cleaning tools (with meanings of “sweeping away” and “removing”) were held to appease vengeful ghosts, gods and the deceased.

Upon entering the Edo Period, Japan began to form its own unique urban culture. The sparsity of raw materials meant that resources were recycled whenever possible and broken tools were mended. The main task of nearly all craftsmen involved some sort of repair, the production and selling of new products took on a secondary role. By repairing and using things with care, the Japanese of the past had developed a spirit of recycling early on. This kept down garbage on the municipal level and living a clean, ecological lifestyle is something passed on through the ages and is still demanded of us in the present day.