This chapter originally began as a description of the gap between the prescribed form of a ritual task (the ideal) and actual practice of it which I observed during my field work. The gap became visible when a television documentary was made of a thrice-yearly sacred ritual which was unique to the villagers of Kuzaki in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Perhaps I should note that I, the ethnographer, perceived that a conflict existed, for in working through the material, I realised that the question of a gap between ideal and practice was not important for the villagers. It was only in my mind that a problem existed, and I will expand on this later. Before doing so, however, two important and interrelated issues must be considered.