Tsukuma Festival


Tsukuma Festival (Tsukuma matsuri)

***** Location: Shiga, Japan
***** Season: Early Summer
***** Category: Observance


Tsukuma Festival 筑摩祭 (つくままつり)
in Maihara Town 米原町

"pot festival", nabe matsuri 鍋祭(なべまつり)
"wearing pots", nabe kaburi 鍋被り(なべかぶり)
pots from Tsukuma 筑摩鍋(つくまなべ)
women with pots, nabe otome 鍋乙女(なべおとめ)
crown from a pot, nabe kamuri 鍋冠(なべかむり)
..... nabe kamuri matsuri 鍋冠祭りの
pots and hearth, nabe kama鍋釜(なべかま)

© Nabekama Matsuri Hozonkai


Quote from Simply Haiku
One such theme is the Tsukuma Matsuri. Held at a Shrine in what is now called Maihara Town, Sakata County, Shiga Prefecture, this pot-wearing festival is considered one of the three most famous odd festivals (chinsai).

kimigayo ya tsukuma matsuri mo nabe hitsotsu
kojin 1691

In our lord’s time, just one pot each,
Even for the old Tsukuma Festival!

Read the full story HERE !
© Robin D. Gill


A common iron pot, to be hung over an open hearth (irori) in the old kitchen.


More photos are here and when clicking on the thumbnails!
© Nabekama Matsuri Hozonkai

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Folklore and Miracle Stories

. . . A story from early thirteenth century Japan tells of a medicinal hot springs in a town called Tsukuma, in old Shinano Province (modern Nagano Prefecture), where a townsman had a dream in which a voice announced that Kannon would come to the town square the next day. The dreamer asked how he would know it was Kannon, and the voice described a scruffy, thirtyish warrior on horseback. After the townsman awoke and told his friends, everyone in the village was excited and gathered at the appointed time.

When a samurai fitting the description arrived, everyone prostrated themselves to him. The astounded warrior demanded an explanation, but the townspeople just continued their prostrations until a priest finally told him about the dream. The samurai explained that he had fallen off his horse and injured himself, and simply had come to the medicinal springs for healing. But the townspeople continued making prostrations to him.

After a while it finally occurred to the perplexed warrior that perhaps he actually was Kannon, and that he should become a monk. He discarded his weapons and was ordained, later becoming a disciple of a famous priest. This former warrior is not otherwise noted in history. Just to become an ordinary monk was enough to allow him to consider himself as Kannon.

Read more here !
© 2007 Mountain Source Sangha


kimigayo ya Tsukuma matsuri mo nabe hitotsu
Ochi Etsujin   
越智越人(おち えつじん)(明暦2年(1656)~没年不詳)

The womenfolk had to wear one pot for each man they had intimat contact with.
© komorebi BLOG

quote from
('Jingishi' in the 'Dainihonshi',
the Yoshikawa edition, p. 411. Yoshida-Toogo, 'Dainihon-Chimeijisho', Vol. II, p.1964).

In the olden time festival of the Tsukuma Shrine at Sakata-Gun in Oomi, 筑摩神社 近江 on the 1st day of the 4th month, every year, a woman was obliged to put on her head saucepans equal to the number of lovers she had favored in the course of the preceding year ('Shintoo-Myoomoku-Ruijushoo', Vol. V, p.8). It can easily be seen that the significance of this festival is the prevention of women's unchastity.
[end of excerpt]

. shiridachi no matsuri 尻太刀祭(しりだちのまつり)
"festival of hitting the bottom"

at Usaka Shrine 鵜坂神社, Toyama


nabe no shiri hoshi narabetaru yukige kana

cooking pots bottoms up
dry in a row...
snow is melting

nabe no shiri hoshite oku nari yuki no ue

bottoms up
the kettles drying
on the snow

Kobayashi Issa
Tr. David Lanoue

Related words

***** . Usaka matsuri 鵜坂祭 (うさかまつり)
Usaka Shrine festival

Women were brought to the shrine and had to confess the number of their extra-marital friends. For each one they got a hit on the bottom.
If they did not talk or said a lie, the deity would punish them terribly ... so they all confessed their sins.

Kettle, tea kettle, water kettle, chagama, tetsubin

***** Tanzaku, decorated paper slips


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