Handa Inari Festivals Gannin


Handa Inari Shrine Festivals

東京都葛飾区東金町4-28-22 Tokyo, Katsushika

Many people come here to pray for an easy delivery (anzan 安産).

The main festival is on the first Sunday in April.

The main attractins are a parade of fox masks and of
gannin boozu mendikant street performers.

They wear red robes and a read headgear and carry a red flag with the name of Handa The Fox Deity 半田の稲荷大明神. In the other hand they have a bell to ring constantly.
Thus they ward off the evil influence of the gods of illness, especially smallpox in the Edo period.
Parentw with little children give them some money and they will perform prayers for protection.
On auspicious situations they performed dances, even comic kyogen performances.

Look at many photos here
source : rekishi-roman.jp


source : tetsuyosie



On behalf of someone who can not do it himself
they perform ritual dances or visit a shrine or
recite prayers to take on the illness of a person.

source : piasi69


gannin, ganjin 願人 street performers
..... ganninboo 願人坊
..... gannin boozu 願人坊主 mendicant monks
petitioned monks, itinerant monks,
fund- raising priests during the Tokugawa period,
even earlier in the Azuchi-Momoyama period

They started from Mount Kurama in Kyoto and from this shrine in Edo and soon were popular all over Japan, taking on illness from the people.

There is also a Kabuki play where
Bando Mitsugoro 坂東三津五郎 appears as a Gannin Bozu.


The Actor Onoe Matsusuke I
as a Mendicant Monk (Gannin Bozu)
in the Play Keisei Ide no Yamabuki,
Performed at the Nakamura Theater in the Fifth Month, 1787, c. 1787

by Katsukawa Shunko (1743-1812)
source : Art Institute Chikago


A catfish posing for Gannin Bozu



source : www.nichibun.ac.jp

The catfish has the body of a human, with a tatoo on the arm.
He holds a special stick in one hand and a red folding fan in the other.

zeni shakujoo 銭錫杖 "money stick"

A small "hand stick" 手錫杖 made from bamboo, with a split side.
Some coins with a hole are hung on a thin string. If the stick is shaken, it makes a sound like chari-chari チャリチャリ.

This stick is used when dancing to make an accompaning sound, for example the chobokure dance チョボクレ.
source : kabuki - mitsugoro


Ehon Hayabiki - Illustrations from Edo
画本(えほん) 早引(はやびき) - 画本早引
葛飾北斎 Katsushika Hokusai

8 半田稲荷 Handa Inari
東京都葛飾区にある。創建は和銅とも永久年間とも。子供の疱瘡、麻疹、安産祈願の参詣が多く、江戸中期 願人坊主 という者「葛西金町半田の稲荷、疱瘡もかるい、麻疹もかるい、運授・安産御守護の神よ」と節面白く謡江戸市中から全国を謡い踊り歩いたと伝えられる。
source : ehonhayabikiue

. Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) 葛飾北斎 .


The Arts of the Gannin

Popular religion in Tokugawa Japan (1603- 1868) was supported by the efforts of many mendicant monk-like figures who provided the populace with prayers, invocations, and talismans, as well as with dancing, music and recitations.
One of the best known types of such monk-performers was the gannin bozu, who was affiliated, at least nominally, with the Kurama temple near Kyoto.
Gannin art, remnants of which can still be found throught Japan, were highly heterogenous, some were associated with Buddhism, others with Shinto, yet others were entirely secular in nature.

Read the full text here (PDF):
source : Gerald Groemer, Yamanashi
Asian Folklore Studies, Volume 58,1999: 275-320

some vocabulary

chobokure ちょぼくれ Chobokure music
chongare ちょんがれ Chongare music

dai gori 代垢離 proxy water ablutions
dai mairi 代参り proxy pilgrimage

hifu 秘符 secret charms and amulets

Kurama gannin 鞍馬願人 Gannin from Kurama mountain

shokyoo koodan 緒経口談 explaining sutras

Sumiyoshi odori 住吉踊り Sumiyoshi dance, Osaka
... kojiki hooshi 乞食法師 beggar monks from Sumiyoshi
. WKD - Sumiyoshi dance and rice planting ritual .

sutasutaboozu, sutasuta boozu すたすた坊主 monks wearing only a string loincloth in the cold, ascets of the Edo period


. Kurama in Kyoto 鞍馬山 .

Things found on the way

. Inari Shrines and Amulets .


Related words

. Fox Shrine Festival (Inari Matsuri) .

Street performances 大道芸人  daidoo geinin
. Dengaku mai 田楽舞 Dengaku dance .

. Chindonya ちんどん屋 street musician .
commercial street band

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

BACK : Top of this Saijiki



Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Katsukawa Shunkoo, Katsukawa Shunkō
勝川春好 Katsukawa Shunko

woodblock prints

Gabi Greve said...

Kanamachi (かなまち) 金町
Katsushika ward

半田稲荷神社 Shrine Handa Inari Jinja
東金町4-28-22 Higashi-Kanamachi.