Saturday, September 13, 2008

Matsuri procession


The annual matsuri for a shrine will usually include a procession. The details differ a little from shrine to shrine, but the format is basically the same. This procession is being led by a Tengu, a kind of forest goblin commonly associated with yamabushi.


Next up is a Shishi, chinese lion. This was the first time I'd seen one in a procession.


The taiko is normally carried suspended from a stout piece of bamboo by 2 men, but this was pulled in a purpose-built taiko cart. I was particularly impressed with the seatbelt that the drummer is wearing.


The children's mikoshi comes next. The kids get half a day off from school for the matsuri.


Next come the larger and heavier mikoshi(s) carried by the village men, and occasionally women. Nowadays, if the village is large and the population dwindled, the mikoshi sometimes are carried by small pick-up truck.


After the mikoshi come the priests and shrine assistants, followed by the Miko who earlier danced for the kami.


Sometimes the mikoshis will stay at different spots around the village so that further ceremonies may take place.

All these photos are from the Tsunozu matsuri held in the local Otoshi shrine in the first few days of November.

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