The origin of the The Mekari Shinji ritual is linked to the time when Empress Jingu (approx. 200 A.C.) sent Azumiisora-no-kami (god of the sea) to the waters before the battle against the Silla country. There, she acquired the art of controlling tides and thereby secured a victory. During the ritual period, three priests go into the cold sea water on the first day of the older calendar to harvest seaweed and offer it to the gods. Seaweed is considered to bring luck because it grows well on its own without care by humans and thus is seen as a symbol of prosperity.