Mie-Ji Temple Festival


Mie-Ji Temple Festival

***** Location: Gifu, Japan
***** Season: Mid-Spring
***** Category: Observance


Mie-Ji Matsuri 美江寺祭り Festival at Temple Mie-Ji March 1 (or March 6) (Mie-Dera, Miedera)

CLICK for more photos

The temple belongs to the Tendai sect.

It used to be held on the last day of the first lunar month. It was celebrating that all rituals are finished (kechigan gyooji 結願行事.

Farmers prayed for a good harvest and for the health of the silk worms, which were a speciality in this region.

So another name for this festival is

o-ko matsuri 美江寺御蚕祭 みえでら‐おこまつり
silk worm festival

Since people got into a fight over the Shojo doll, it was also one of the
kenka matsuri 喧嘩祭り "fighting festivals" .

The festival starts in the morning with a fire ceremony, burning goma sticks 大護摩祈祷.
After the lunch break, there are concerts and making mochi ricecakes.

At three in the afternoon, a kagura dance performance and then
carrying the mikoshi palanquin and the Shojo float to a "travel rest place" (o tabisho togyo 御旅所渡行 / 渡御行列).

At four in the afternoon, the second highlight:

CLICK for original link, miei.jp

One large float with a shoojoo tripster, standing high with a white fan with a red sun, the Japanese symbol (shoojoo dashi 猩々山車) is the center of attention.
The Shojo trickster doll is taken from the float and "thrown around" 猩々投げ in the lucky direction of the year. Everyone fights to get a chip of the doll to carry home for good luck.

For a grand finale, mochi are thrown into the crowd 餅投げ and lucky lots are drawn.

By the way,
in our days, the silk worm business does not exist in this area any more.


Mie-Ji is famous for its statue of a Kannon bosatsu with eleven heads, made of dry laquer technique (kanshitsu).
Mie-ji Kannon 美江寺観音

This temple is number 18 on the pilgrimage to 33 Kannon temples in Mino.

It is one of the oldest temples in Japan, founded in 723

HP of the temple, with more photos

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Onishi Clay Daruma 尾西のだるま
sold at the local temple festivals, especially at temple Mie-Ji 美江寺.

蚕鈴 bell to protect the silk worms

If this clay bell was hung in the room where the silk worms were kept, the mice would not come to eat the worms.

. WKD : Silk and Silkworms  


source PHOTO : tsuyo

Statue of Fudo Myo-O
in the temple compound.
Tsuyo san visited there in winter, have a look at the link!


in the midst
of a crowd fighting ...
my mochi!

mie-ji festival
a clay bell sings
to the silk worm

Don Baird

Related words

***** . Shoojoo Midare 猩々乱 Shojo Midare Dance

. Folk Toys from Gifu .

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