10/22/2011

Heian Matsuri

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Heian Festival (Heian matsuri)

***** Location: Kyoto
***** Season: Late Autumn
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

Heian matsuri 平安祭(へいあんまつり)Heian festival
Jidai matsuri 時代祭 (じだいまつり) "Festival of the Ages"


October 22

The central event in the festival is the Jidai Gyoretsu, a resplendent procession. In the procession, participants wear costumes representing the styles of each historical period starting with 1868 when the capital was transferred from Kyoto to Tokyo and going backward to 794 when the capital was moved to Kyoto.

Led by a gallet fife and drum corps, the sumptuous and gorgeous procession comprises about 2,000 people and extends for about 2 km (1.24 miles). The spectacle also includes the charming junior geisha (maiko) and women dressed in the beautiful kimono of the imperial court. Proceeding along a 4.5km (2.8 miles) route (Miyako-Oji) from the Kyoto Imperial Garden to Heian Shrine, the parade lasts for nearly five hours.
source : web-japan.org


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The Heian period (平安時代, Heian jidai)

is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185.[1] The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height. The Heian period is also considered the peak of the Japanese imperial court and noted for its art, especially poetry and literature. Although the Imperial House of Japan had power on the surface, the real power was in the hands of the Fujiwara clan, a powerful aristocratic family who had intermarried with the Emperor of Japan.
Heian (平安) means "peace and tranquility" in Japanese.
Buddhism began to spread throughout Japan during the Heian period, primarily through two major esoteric sects, Tendai and Shingon.

Literature
Although written Chinese (Kanbun) remained the official language of the Heian period imperial court, the introduction and wide use of kana saw a boom in Japanese literature. Despite the establishment of several new literary genres such as the novel and narrative monogatari (物語) and essays, literacy was only common among the court and Buddhist clergy.

The lyrics of the modern Japanese national anthem, Kimi ga Yo, were written in the Heian period, as was The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, one of the first novels ever written. Murasaki Shikibu's contemporary and rival Sei Shōnagon's revealing observations and musings as an attendant in the Empress' court were recorded collectively as The Pillow Book in the 990s, which revealed the quotidian capital lifestyle. The Heian period produced a flowering of poetry including works of Ariwara no Narihira, Ono no Komachi, Izumi Shikibu, Murasaki Shikibu, Saigyō and Fujiwara no Teika.
The famous Japanese poem known as the Iroha (いろは), of uncertain authorship, was also written during the Heian period.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !




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quote
Kyoto holds "Festival of the Ages"
October 22, 2011

A parade of 2,000 people wearing Japanese costumes from various historical periods was held in Kyoto on Sunday.
A crowd of about 50,000 watched the procession along a 4.5-kilometer course from the Kyoto Imperial Palace to the Heian Shrine.
The Jidai Matsuri is one of the city's 3 biggest festivals. It started in 1895 when Kyoto celebrated the 1,100th anniversary of its founding in the Heian period.
Sunday's parade was led by a military band dressed in the style of the Meiji era in the late 19th century. The next group represented the popular revolutionaries who helped organize the Meiji Restoration in the closing days of the Edo period, which ended in 1867.
At the end of the parade were women in elaborate costumes from the Heian period.

Survivors of the March 11th disaster who are living in Kyoto were invited to watch the parade.
A woman said she had to evacuate her hometown in Fukushima Prefecture because of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, but the beautiful parade made her feel less homesick.
source : NHK news 2011

. Japan after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011 .


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Worldwide use


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Things found on the way


Heian Jinguu 平安神宮 Heian Jingu Shrine

Heian Shrine in Sakyō-ku, Kyoto ...
In late January, a festival celebrates the memory of Emperor Kōmei; and in early April, a festival in honor of Emperor Kammu is a yearly occurrence.[

On October 22, Heian-jingū hosts the Jidai Matsuri, which is one of the most important festivals of Kyoto. The procession of this festival begins at the old Imperial palace, and includes carrying the mikoshi (portable shrines) of Emperors Kanmu and Kōmei to the Heian-jingū.

The Shrine is used for traditional Japanese weddings as well as concerts. It is popular but rare for a modern concert to be held at a historic site like the shrines, but merging modern and old culture in Kyoto has become a trend.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

- - - - - English HP of the Shrine - Heian Jingu Shrine

source : www.heianjingu.or.jp

. Japan - Shrines and Temples .


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HAIKU





腰細の時代祭のやっこかな
koshiboso no jidai matsuri no yakko kana

the slender waist
of a court lady -
Festival of the Ages






時代ごと衣の変わりゆく秋の暮れ
jidai goto i no kawari-yuku aki no kure

with each period
the robes also change -
end of autumn


And some more by Kusa Wakaba
source : 草若葉


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Related words

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. The Heian Period 平安時代 Heian jidai (794 - 1185) .
- Introduction -

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