(Japanese: "sacred words")
In Shinto religion, norito are prayers, recited by priests. The language used is an archaic form of Japanese; the texts are either equally venerable (for instance, the collection Engi-shiki dates from 927), or if new, written in a deliberately archaic style. The latter are often connected with the imperial family, but are also used at local matsuri (religious feasts).
One of the most significant norito is that involved in the twice-yearly grand purification rituals, oharae, in which all of Japan is ritually purified, from the imperial palace to the smallest brook.