54. During the Hakobi
As mentioned previously, the Honseki changed all his clothes, down to his undergarments, before the Hakobi (the act of bestowing the truth of the Sazuke and granting sanctions regarding church matters). Among the garments he would wear were:
A black crested formal coat (montsuki) made from habutae silk, a brown or pale yellow kakuobi with a design in the middle, a haori coat decorated with the Iburi family crest in five places, and white tabi (foot size: ten mon or 24 centimeters). The Honseki would not wear a hakama or carry a folding fan with him.1
- This account of the Hakobi procedures seems to contradict another account that I posted earlier. But further checking suggests that the Honseki only wore silk during the Hakobi procedures and would only wear cotton on other occasions.
The implication of his action of changing before the Hakobi suggests that the Honseki was making a clear distinction between his own affairs and the Hakobi, which, in effect, were “God’s affairs” or “business.” As one of the tasks of the Shinbashira at present includes the Hakobi (beginning from the second Shinbashira onward), the present Shinbashira too changes his clothing before bestowing the truth of the Sazuke to prospective Yoboku. The clothing he changes into are more formal than what the Honseki wore; the Shinbashira wears a hakama. In fact, he wears a kimono in a style not unlike what he wears in his New Year’s greeting picture.
Here is a site (unfortunately, only in Turkish, I believe) that has a nice illustration of how such a male formal attire would like. The same page also has an illustration of how a man would wear a kimono without a hakama ala the Honseki during the Hakobi (with the significant difference being the man in the illustration is not wearing a haori coat like the Honseki did). Unfortunately, I am not quite sure of the significance of the Honseki not wearing a hakama during the Hakobi.
Actual pictures of the Honseki and Shinbashira in such attire would of course get the point across better, but no dice (at least for now). Will have to do with the above link for now. ↩