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Japanese plunge into ice bath at Tokyo's shrine in purification ritual for New Year

Nearly one hundred people gathered at a Tokyo shrine to wash in an icy bath on Sunday to purify their souls and wish for good health in the new year.

Barely dressed to bear the cold, among the 98 participants there were 12 women, an 83-year-old man, and a 9-year-old boy who came with his father to wish him luck and health.

This annual ritual, now in its 64th year, was held under cloudy skies with temperature nearing five degree Celsius (41F).

The Shinto event is usually held on the second Sunday of January. Participants exchange New Year's greetings to one another.

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