Mifune Festival


Mifune festival (Mifune matsuri)

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


Mifune matsuri 三船祭 (みふねまつり) Mifune festival
lit. "three boats festival"
... shuuyuusai 舟遊祭(しゅうゆうさい)boat ride festival
funaasobi matsuri

ooginagashi 扇流し(おうぎながし)floating handfans
Nishi matsuri 西祭(にしまつり) "Festival on the West" (of Kyoto)

Third sunday in May.
(It used to be the 18th of May).
At the shrine Kurumazaki jinja 車折神社,
along the river Oigawa 大堰川(おおいがわ).

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The deity of the shrine is known to grant good luck in business, so many people come here to pray. There is even a "shrine of the arts" in the compound
"Geinoo jinja" 芸能神社
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On the festival day, the deity is put on a boat and entertained with song and dance during a river tour with three festive boats with dragon heads 竜舟鷁首 (りゅうとうげきしゅ).
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Other accompanying boats hoast exhibitions of art, haiku meetings, poetry meetings, song and dance performances and more.

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The floating of handfans at the Rankyo gorge 嵐峡 is especially graceful.

This festival has a different flavor from those in Southern Kyoto, hence the name "Festival in the West".


Mifune Matsuri
The scene of an ancient boat party on a river is reproduced by some 20 boats in the town of Kyoto, City:Asahi-cho, Saga, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City

The scene of a boat party on a river from 1,000 years ago is reproduced by some 20 boats on the Oigawa River flowing through Arashiyama in Kyoto. Every year, 100,000 tourists come to view this graceful spectacle. This is an event organized by the Kurumazaki Shrine standing close to the river, and originates in a ceremony that was held upon receiving the Emperor on his visit to this land.

After a ritual held at the shrine at noon, people dressed in ancient costumes proceed along the beautiful Togetsukyo Bridge and board the boats. Their costumes are very colorful, and you will also see cute little children who are dressed in kimono, too. Also interesting are the boats which have dragon heads or birds' heads designed on the prow.
Each boat has its assigned role, for example, there is a boat carrying musicians who play music, while dance performances are given on another boat, or poetry is recited on a different boat. Sensu fans of all colors are floated on the water surface by ladies dressed in 12 layers of kimono known as juni-hitoe, producing a most exquisite and graceful spectacle.

Kurumazaki Shrine is also well-known for its patron deity of the performing arts. It is therefore visited by many famous stars who come here to offer prayers so that they can give better stage performances or rise in popularity. If you wish to sing or dance better, it might be a good idea to pay a visit to this shrine.
source : www.jnto.go.jp

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


misao tsuku shirahari oikeri Mifune sai

the old boatsman
pushes with the long rod -
Mifune festival

. WKD Awano Seiho 阿波野青畝

source : haiku/seiho

Related words

***** ***** . Fan (oogi 扇 - uchiwa 団扇) .

***** . Fans from Marugame .

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