from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In the Shinto shrines of Japan, a slender wand of unpainted and unvarnished wood, originally a branch of Cleyera japonica, from which hang two long strips of white Japanese paper, notched alternately on opposite sides, representing offerings of rough and fine white cloth. There is but one gohei to each deity worshiped at any particular temple.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The only ecclesiastical ornament among the dim splendours of the chapel is the plain gold gohei.

    Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

  • The sub-chief drew back the sliding doors, and all bowed with much reverence, It was a simple shrine of unlacquered wood, with a broad shelf at the back, on which there was a small shrine containing a figure of the historical hero Yoshitsune, in a suit of inlaid brass armour, some metal gohei, a pair of tarnished brass candle-sticks, and a coloured Chinese picture representing a junk.

    Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

  • Shinto gohei — are wands and posts of peeled wood, whittled nearly to the top, from which the pendent shavings fall down in white curls.

    Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

  • On them are hung strips of dried palm-leaves in bunches like the Japanese _gohei_.

    Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 3

  • Shinto shrines, and on the opening day of each month he repaired thither to offer the gohei.

    A History of the Japanese People From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era

  • Before him (strange condescension of Shinto faith!) a little torii has been erected, and a pair of gohei!

    Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan First Series

  • There are gohei before the shrine, and a mirror upon it; emblems of Shinto.

    Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan First Series

  • Little bamboo wands with gohei (paper cuttings) fastened to them are then planted either in the mat or in the adzukimeshi, and the colour of these gohei must be red.

    Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan First Series

  • Within, all is severely plain and pure: there are no images, no ornaments, no symbols visible -- except those strange paper-cuttings (gohei), suspended to upright rods, which are symbols of offerings and also tokens of the [139] viewless.

    Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation

  • Sometimes, also, around a little rice-field, I see a sort of magical fence, formed by little bamboo rods supporting a long cord from which long straws hang down, like a fringe, and paper cuttings, which are symbols (gohei) are suspended at regular intervals.

    Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan First Series


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