Usaka Festival


Usaka Festival (Usaka matsuri)

***** Location: Toyama
***** Season: Mid-Summer
***** Category: Observance


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

..... shimoto matsuri 楉祭(しもとまつり)
... 苔祭(しもとまつり)
shiridachi no matsuri 尻太刀祭(しりだちのまつり)
"festival of hitting the bottom"
..... shiriuchi matsuri, shiri uchi matsuri
... shimotodachi 苔太刀(しもとだち)"sakaki stick"
Usaka no tsue 鵜坂の杖(うさかのつえ)Sakaki stick of Usaka

Main festival at the shrine Usaka jinja 鵜坂神社.
Toyama town, Fuchu Village, 富山市婦中町 鵜坂神社 .楉祭

On the 16th of the fifth lunar month.
Other sources say the 16th day of the sixth lunar month or even the 23th day of the seventh lunar month.
Now on June 16.

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.

source : bambino

The stick for hitting was made of the sacred sakaki tree (Cleyera ochnacea).
Some say the stick was made of a sakaki branch cut during the new year to cook the special rice porridge with seven herbs (nanakusagayu), so the women would give safe birth.
Even Matsuo Basho has written about this festival.

This festival was abolished during the Meiji period.
Later, during the Taisho period, a horse appeared and ran around the shrine three times. This was used to be hit with the sacred stick.

Nowadays, this custom has been completely abolished.

Here is my information about the "rice gruel stick"

."rice gruel stick" kayuzue 粥杖 (かゆづえ)


The main deities of the shrine are


淤母陀琉神 . 訶志古泥神
Omodaru and Kashikone

The sixth of the first seven generations of kami, produced immediately prior to Izanagi and Izanami. It is generally believed that the two kami actually represent a single being, Omodaru being the male half and Kashikone the female, but no other specific attributes are known.

According to Motoori Norinaga, the characters used to write Omodaru's name mean "face and leg, indicating a being without imperfection; whether in face or in the limbs, every part is furnished complete" (Kojikiden). Other theories suggest that the names mean the face of the earth or the land was perfect and complete, or that the names were mutually complementary epitaphs used by the pair of kami.

In the medieval period, shrines appeared in the Kantō area worshiping Omodaru no mikoto under the name Dairokuten ("the sixth deva"). This name was based on the association of Omodaru with the sixth deva within the Buddhist theory of the heaven of thirty-three gods
source : Nakayama Kaoru

In Memory of Obiko no mikoto 大彦命, a general of the Hokuriku Army, visited the area during the reign of Emperor Sujin Tenno 崇神天皇 (148 BC), the shrine was build in 652 and venerated with envoys from Kyoto.
Soon there was also a temple of the same name 鵜坂寺.

The present building of the shrine is new, from 1873.

越中國婦負郡 鵜坂神社
source with photos : www.genbu.net


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]
source : books.google.co.jp ...

. Discussing the Festival, Larry Bole

. Tsukuma Festival 筑摩祭 (つくままつり)

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Dairokuten Ma-O
第六天魔王 (だいろくてん まおう)
Big Number Six Heavenly Deity

Omodaru no Mikami 於母陀流神 and
Ayakashikone no kami 阿夜訶志古泥神.


Daruma at the Town Hall in Usaka

source : toyama kodomo gekiyo


yudan shite iku na Usaka no shiriuchi matsuri  

do not be off guard
at the bottom-hitting festival
at Usaka shrine

Tr. Gabi Greve

pay attention
at the bottom-beating festival
at Usaka shrine

paraverse by Larry Bole

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .
Visiting Shinto Shrines


ana kowa ya Usaka matsuri no oto ni muchi  

Takarai Kikaku 宝井其角

. . . . .


Minamoto no Toshiyori 源俊頼


Related words

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1 comment:

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

yudan taiteki 油断大敵 Be attentive !

yudan taiteki 油断大敵 Do not be inattentive.

Don't be too sure of yourself!
Overconfidence [ Carelessness] can be very dangerous.
Unpreparedness is one's greatest enemy.
Idleness is the devil's workshop.