Tag Archives: Mikoshi

today’s holiday: Yaya Matsuri (2015)


Yaya Matsuri (2015)

The Yaya Matsuri, held in Owase, Japan, during the first week in February, features mikoshi (portable shrines) carried through the streets by groups of young men who meet and deliberately crash into each other. The festival takes its name from their shouts—”Yaya! Yaya!”—as they run into one another. Several special events, including dances, are held during the five-day festival. On the last night, there is a ceremony at the Owase Shrine to determine who will participate in the festival the next year. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine Matsuri


Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine Matsuri

After the opening ceremonies on September 14, the annual celebration at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine in Kamakura, Japan, begins on the 15th with a parade of three mikoshi, portable shrines to which the spirits of the gods are believed to descend. But the highlight occurs the following day, when the Yabusame takes place. Three skilled archers dressed in hunting clothes called karishozoku ride on horseback down a straight track near the shrine’s entrance. The archers then shoot at three targets set up along the route while traveling at high speeds. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Tenjin Matsuri


Tenjin Matsuri

The Tenjin Festival in Japan honors the scholar and statesman Sugawara Michizane (845-903), who was deified as Tenjin after his death. The festival opens at the Temmangu Shrine with the beating of the Moyooshi Daiko, a drum about five feet in diameter. The drum-cart is followed by a masked figure who represents Sarutahiko, the deity who led all the other gods to Japan. Most important is the mikoshi—the decorated shrine in which the soul of Tenjin is believed to reside. In the evening, the parade moves to the river, with numerous boats carrying glowing lanterns. More… Discuss