The origins of Hadaka Matsuri date back 500 years when worshippers competed to receive paper talismans called Go-o thrown by the priest. These paper talismans were tokens of the completion of New Year ascetic training by the priests. As those people receiving these paper talismans had good things happen to them, the number of people requesting them increased year by year. However, as paper was easily torn, the talismans were changed to the wooden ofuda that we know today.
Naoi-shinji, also known as “Hadaka Matsuri (naked festival)”, started in the year 767 AD, the Nara Period. This right was founded on the fact that the governor of Owari Province (presently Aichi Prefecture) visited the Owari Shosha Shrine (Konomiya shrine) to drive away evil spirits and calamities, because Emperor Shotoku ordered all the kokubun-ji* to offer invocations to dispel plagues
It is said that the form of the festival, a struggle to touch the Naoinin or Shin-otoko (man of god), is reminiscent of the struggle in old times between the assemblage of lower-ranking Shinto priests called shanin and contributors tried to catch and set up a man for naoinin (shin-otoko), an unlucky poor man, who was unwilling to take the role.
Curiously, naos was a word in the ancient Egyptian world especially of the Late Period, that meant a shrine in which a deity was placed, and naoi was a shrine sanctuary. A small wooden naos was usually placed inside a larger monolithic stone one. The naos was usually a rectangular chest or box hewn of a single block of wood or stone. It could also be a funerary statue, sometimes of a portrayed subject holding a shrine sometimes with a deity inside.
To the Greeks, naos was a room (early Greek and Roman architecture) the interior apartment of a Greek temple, and to the Byzantinians, naos was the core and sanctuary of a centrally planned church where liturgy was conducted.
Are the similar-sounding nao and naois cognate words or pure coincidence?