Kifune Shrine Festivals


Kifune Shrine and its festivals

***** Location: Kyoto, Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Observance


Kifune matsuri 貴船祭 (きふねまつり) Kifune festival
... Kifune shinji 貴船神事(きふねしんじ)Kifune Shinto ritual
gokoosai 御更祭(ごこうさい)"changing the robes of the deity"
itadori matsuri 虎杖祭(いたどりまつり "knotweed festival"
kigo for mid-summer

Kifune, sometimes read Kibune (きぶね).

June 1
The most important yearly festival at Kifune Shrine 貴船神社 in the Kurama mountain region.
Its official name is gokoosai 御更祭.
It used to be held twice a year, on the first day of the fourth and eleventh lunar month.
Kibune shrine belongs to the Kamo Shrines of Kyoto (sessha 摂社).

In the forests around the shrine there grow a lot of itadori, Japanese knotweed.
People pick this plant and compare its length.

. WKD : itadori いたどり Japanese knotweed
Polygonum cuspidatum, looks like a kind of rhubarb.

Kibune matsuri
Formerly this festival was held on the first day of the fourth and eleventh months at Kibune Jinja in Sakyō Ward, Kyōto City, Kyōto Prefecture.
Prior to the Meiji Period, when this shrine had an auxiliary shrine relationship to Kamowakeikazuchi Jinja (also known as Kamikamo Jinja, Upper Kamo Shrine), the festival was observed on a grand scale. In the past, on the day before the festival there used to be a kitchen knife ceremony, and shinsen (sacred offerings) were placed in a chest (karabitsu).
Then, together with birds (kakedori), people presented these to the kami on the day of the ceremony.
After the ritual offering (hōbei) of nusa (sacred paper strips/streamers) and the intoning of norito (prayers) by the shinshoku (priests) they visited the branch and hilltop shrines and performed hōbei, then returned wearing flowers taken from the mountain peak in their hair.

At the midpoint in route between the Kibune and Upper Kamo Shrines a designated person chanted a secret song to which the other priests responded in a repetitive manner. Formerly, during the fourth month festival worshippers used to collect the Japanese knotweed that grew profusely on the mountain near the shrine in a competition for size and amount, thus leading to the popular name itadori matsuri ("Knotweed Festival"). Vestiges of this ancient festival remain in the annual shin'yo (portable shrine) processional held on June 1, and in the festivals for the changing of the kami's robes (gokōisai) held on April 1 and November 1.
source : Mogi Sakae, Kokugakuin Uni


Kibune Shrine (貴船神社, Kibune Jinja),
also known as Kifune Jinja, is a Shinto shrine located at Sakyō-ku in Kyoto, Japan.
It was founded more than 1600 years ago.
Legend tells us that the goddess Tamayori-hime appeared on a yellow boat in Osaka Bay and said, "Build a sanctuary at the place where this boat stops and deify the spirit of the locality, and the country will prosper." The boat floated up the rivers of Yodogawa to the river Kamogawa, stopping at the beginning of the stream.
The deities enshrined here are Takaokami-no-Kami and Kuraokami-no-Kami. They are the gods of water, and people pray to them for rain during times of drought, and to stop the rain during floods.
One emperor offered a black horse in a drought, and a white horse during a prolonged spell of rain. This is why people now offer up votive plates with the image of a horse.
The shrine became the object of Imperial patronage during the early Heian period.In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered that Imperial messengers were sent to report important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines including the Kibune Shrine.

From 1871 through 1946, the Kibune Shrine was officially designated one of the Kanpei-chūsha (官幣中社), meaning that it stood in the second rank of government supported shrines.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


. Kuraokami, Takaokami 高おかみ神 , Kuramitsuha .
Deity of Rain

Amulets from Kibune Jinja

chinowa omamori ちのわ守り for summer purification

龍神札 Dragon God amulet

. The Dragon Art Gallery - 2012 .

御神水せっけん soap from sacred water
清砂 purifying sand
kajitori 梶取守

何事もうまくいく絵馬 - may everything go well - amulet

all kinds of ema votive tablets and more
source : www.kibune.or.jp/jinja/omamori

tsuri yuki anzen 釣行安全 safety when fishing
ruaa mamori ルアー守 luer amulet
. Amulet for fishing from Kibune Shrine .

. Summer Purification (nagoshi, harae) .

むすび守袋型 Musubi bag form
むすび守文型 Musubi letter form

. Enmusubi 縁結び to find a good partner .

clay bell of the yellow boat of Tamayori-Hime

A play of words with the name of the shrine, 黄船 "yellow boat".

. Kyoto no dorei 京都の土鈴 clay bells from Kyoto .


Suzuka Valley and Waterfall, 鈴鹿谷
The Main Shrine, 貴船神社本宮
The Rock Garden, 石庭

Page with many thumbnails of the places within the precincts.

. . .

Kibune Jinja / Kifune Homepage


. . . . . every month:
tsukinamisai 月次祭 monthly festival
hatsu tatsusai 初辰祭 festival on the first day of the dragon
masshasai 末社祭 festival of the subordinate shrine

. . . . . Saijiki Events:
hatsu tatsu taisai 初辰大祭
. Grand Festival on the first day of the dragon in January
tondo とんど Tondo fire, January 15
amagoi matsuri 雨乞祭 Rain Ritual, March 9
Kifune matsuri 貴船祭 Grand Festival, June 1
Minazuki no oharae 水無月大祓
. Great Purification ritual in June, June 30
Kifune no mizu matsuri 貴船の水まつり
. Water Festival, July 7
Kikka shinji 菊花神事
. Chrysanthemum ritual, Spetember 9
Meiji sai 明治祭 Meiji festival, November 3
Kifune momiji matsuri 貴船もみじ祭
. celebrating red leaves, November 7

. . . . .

In Kyoto, Kibune Shrine deifies Takaokami-no-kami, who is worshiped as a rain god. It is described in the Shoku-nihongi, the Nihon-koki, the Shoku-nihon-koki , the Montoku-tenno Jitsuroku, and the Sandai Jitsuroku that from 765, the seventh year of Tempyohoji, people prayed almost every year to Niu-Kawakami and Kibune for rain. They are said to have offered a black horse when they wanted the rains to start and a white horse when they wanted the rains to end because it was believed that the spirit of the gods descend to earth on a horse. Black is the color for casting a rain spell as it symbolizes dark clouds bringing rain. In contrast, white is the symbol of the bright sun.
These prayers were held as national events.
Sacred Water in Japan
Iwai Hiromi

The Sacred Water 御神水 goshinsui
Even Murasaki Shikibu was aware of the powers of the water at Kibune Shrine. She came here to pray for the love of her husband, and her prayer was granted. Now the shrine is also worshipped by lovers, praying to the "god of good marriage". Workers also pray for a good relationship with their employers.

Even special soap is sold at the shrine.


Oku no Miya 奥の宮

In the compounds, at the back of Kibune shrine, there is one of the three sacred

ryuuketsu 龍穴 dragon holes

This dragon hole inhabited by a white dragon, who brings prosperity to those who worship him.
It is a great "power spot" of Japan.

Once a carpenter lost his chisle, as it fell into the hole.
But to his surprize, a strong wind blew out of the whole and his chisle fell back on the ground in front of his feet.

Shrine Muro Ryuketsu Jinja 室生竜穴神社
. The Dragon Art Gallery – 2012 .


Water festivel in Kifune
(貴船の水まつり) Kifune no mizu matsuri

at Kifune Shrine, July 7

The origin of this festival is rain-making rituals.
Now is more like for showing our gratitude to water.

The festival consists of offering tea ceremony, dancing and cooking ceremony in front of the Gods. Tea cremony, of course, cannot be done without water, so it's the symbolic ceremony of this festival. And the cooking ceremony is offered by the special cooking school called Ikuma school.

Ancestors of the Ikuma school used to be cookers for the Imperial family. It is said that the current master is 29th-generation of the family.

At the ceremony, he cooks a fish in front of the god without touching it by his hands at all. (The fish is altarage for Gods, so it shouldn't be touched by men.)
source : see-u-in-kyoto.blogspot.com


. Amagoi Matsuri 雨乞祭 Rain Ritual
March 9
Horses offered to the gods in rain rituals.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Kifune Festival held in Manazuru-cho,
真鶴 貴船まつり

Ashigara-shimo-gun, Kanagawa pref. is counted as one of Japan’s three largest marine festivals and a designated National Significant Intangible Folk Cultural Asset. The origin of the festival is dated back to the middle of the 17th century, when people began to put Mikoshi (portable shrine) on a ship to pray for purification of fishing boats and stone carrying boats in the harbor and then carried it around the village.

This old, traditional and pious festival is held on July 27th to 28th, filling the whole town of Manazuru with air of excitement. As the festival is composed of a lot of exciting spectacles such as the colorfully carved Kobaya-bune boat, Manazuru-bayashi (traditional band playing music) lively cheering up the town, reverent Kashima-odori dance, and flower floats and Kaidenma (the towing boat) for which masculine strength is fully expressed, a lot of tourists from all over the country visit the town of Manazuru.
On these two days, the citizens of Manazuru all pull together to make this festival a great success.
source : nippon-kichi.jp


CLICK for more photos

shinryoku ya hito no sukunaki Kifune mura

fresh green -
there are few people
in Kifune village

Hatano Soha (Sooha) 波多野爽波 (1923-1991)
source : weekly-haiku.blogspot.com

Related words

***** . 貴船神社 Kibune Shrine, Buzen Kagura
Iwado Kagura of Buzen, 岩戸神楽 in Kyushu
Autumn, O-Bon

***** . Kibunegiku 貴船菊 (きぶねぎく) wild aster from Kibune
shuumeigiku 秋明菊(しゅうめいぎく) "bright autumn chrysanthemum"
Anemone japonica
kigo for mid-autumn

***** . kawadoko ryoori 川床料理
food served on a riverbed veranda  

In Kyoto, near shrine Kibune Jinja 貴船神社 served in the forest restaurants along the clean river.
kawayuka 川床(かわゆか)riverbed veranda

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Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kifune Shrine Kume 貴布弥(きふね)神社(奥御前神社)

岡山県久米郡久米町桑上 Kuwakami village, Okayama

Deities in residence

Taka Okami 高寵神(たかおかみ)
Kura Okami 闇寵神(くらおかみ)
These two are dragon deities who provide abundant water for the region.
They are the main deities of the Kifune shrine in Kyoto.


Gabi Greve - WKD said...

massha 末社 - sessha 摂社 - subordinate shrines

sessha 摂社 "auxiliary shrine" - - - massha 末社 "branch shrine"
setsumatsusha, setsu matsu sha 摂末社


Gabi Greve said...

Kibunegawa suzushi suzushi to Okumiya e

the river Kibunegawa
so cool, so cool toward
the Okumiya shrine

Tomita Yoshie 富田よしえ

hiru tomosu Kibune Okumiya yoka no ame

to brighten the day
at Kibune Okumiya shrine,
late cherry blossoms in rain

Yoshida Sayuri 吉田百合子

MORE about Okumiya

Gabi Greve - Buson said...

Yosa Buson

samidare ya kibune no shato kiyuru toki

Early summer rain--
just when the lanterns of Kibune Shrine
have been extinguished.

Tr. Sawa/ Shiffert

Buson visiting shrines

Gabi Greve said...

Kibune Jinja 貴船社 (貴船神社)きぶねじんじゃ
as it appeared in 1780, from the Miyako Meisho Zue 都名所図会, vol. 6 巻之六 後玄武再刻, p. 19 19頁.
,,, the reading of the shrine's name -- Kibune Jinja.
This reading is also confirmed on pp. 253-254 of 京都大辞典 Kyoto Daijiten Dictionary, ed., Sawa Ryuken et al. 佐和隆研 等 (Kyoto: 1984 京都 淡交社 昭和五十九年).
Thanks to Yoshio Kusaba

Gabi Greve said...

fuyuzare ya Kifune no miya no choozubachi

withering in winter -
the hand-wash basin
at Kifune Shrine

洛山人 Rakusanjin

choozubachi, mitarashi

Gabi Greve said...

Hashihime, Hashi Hime 橋姫 / はし姫 "Princess of the Bridge"

The Tale of the Hashihime of Uji

During the Imperial reign of the Emperor Saga, there lived a courtly lady consumed by jealousy. So powerfully was she in jealousy’s grip that she made a pilgrimage to the shrine at Kifune and cloistered in prayer. For seven days, she devoted herself to a single-minded wish: “Oh great and powerful Kami of Kifune, grant me the powers of a devil while I am still living. Make me a fierce being, terrible to behold. Let my outer form match the flame of jealousy that burns so brightly within. Let me kill.”
- source : Zack Davisson -

Gabi Greve said...

Kagutsuchi カグツチ / 軻遇突智 Kagu-tsuchi - "incarnation of fire"
Homusubi no Mikoto 火産霊命
Hinokagatsuchi 火之迦具土

He is the main deity in residence at the many
. Atago Jinja 愛宕神社 Atago shrines of Japan .