Showing posts with label Hiroshima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hiroshima. Show all posts


Itsukushima Shrine Miyajima

Sanki Daigongen 三鬼大権現 . see below

Itsukushima Shrine (Itsukushima Jinja)

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


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A Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima (popularly known as Miyajima 宮島) in the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan.
The shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The shrine is dedicated to the three daughters of Susano-o no Mikoto, Shinto deity of seas and storms and brother of the great sun deity, Amaterasu (tutelary deity of the Imperial Household). Because the island itself has been considered sacred, in order to maintain its purity commoners were not allowed to set foot on Miyajima through much of its history. In order to allow pilgrims to approach, the shrine was built like a pier over the water, so that it appeared to float, separate from the land, and therefore existed in a liminal state between the sacred and the profane.

The shrine's signature red entrance gate, or torii, was built over the water for much the same reason. Commoners had to steer their boats through the torii before approaching the shrine.

The first shrine buildings were probably erected in the 6th century, and the shrine has been destroyed many times, often by typhoons.
In 1168, Taira no Kiyomori 平清盛 had it rebuild.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

I visited many times, is is truely an amazing place.
The reflections of the shrine in the water on a bright evening or moonlit night are superb.

There are many shrines of this name in other parts of Japan.

source : facebook - Japan Dream


. The White Shrine Horse at Miyajima 宮島白馬   


kigo for the New Year

Itsukushima jinja no toshikoshi sai 厳島神社の年越祭
Crossing into the new year at Itsukushima shrine

January 6
One of the three great ceremonies at the shrine.

People involved in farming come to the shine to pray for a good harvest.
Ritual dance performance and later a feast and talks about farmwork and crop prices held.


Itsukushima no on yumi hajime
厳島の御弓始 (いつくしまのおんゆみはじめ)
first shooting with bow and arrow at Itsukushima

kisha 鬼射(きしゃ)"hitting the demon"

onyumi shinji 御弓神事(おんゆみしんじ)
honorable ceremony of the bow

On January 20

The target with the character 鬼, called the "demon target" 鬼的 and shot at with bow and arrow to prevent evil for the coming year.

Now held at the shrine Oomoto Jinja at Miyajima
宮島の大元神社 Omoto shrine ceremony
Oomotesai 大元祭.


Itsukushima Shrine New Year Ceremonies
Jan 1
御神衣献上式 Go Shin-i Kenjo-shiki Ceremony (offering new clothes to deities)
歳旦祭 Saitan-sai Festival Ceremony starts at noon. Bugaku traditional dance performance starts at 5:30am.
Jan 2
二日祭り Futsukasai Ceremony 09:00 Bugaku performance 13:00
Jan 3
元始祭 Genshisai Ceremony 09:00 Bugaku performance 13:00
Jan 5
地久祭 (Chikyuusai) Chikyusai Ceremony and Bugaku performance 05:30 Includes Batoh (Sunrise Dance) only performed once a year on this day.

source :

source : fb
cap for bugaku dance


kigo for late summer

Itsukushima matsuri 厳島祭 (いつくしままつり)
Itsukushima festival
Itsukushima kangensai 厳島管絃祭(いつくしまかんげんさい)
17th day of the sixth lunar month.
Now on the 17th day of July.

The main festival of the shrine.

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Special gozabune ships are made for the procession toward the gate in the water.

Bugaku dance performance and gagaku tradtional music are part of the festival.


kigo for early autumn

Itsukushima Ennen sai
Ennen Festival at Itsukushima

Ennen "life prolonging" dance performances are held at many shrines in Japan.

tamatori matsuri 玉取祭 (たまとりまつり)
"festival of grabbing the bead"

On the 14th day of the seventh lunar month, now in mid-August on a Sunday of high tide.
On a boat in front of the main hall is a boat with a large rosary and young men of the island try to grab a bead of about 20 cm diameter for good luck.

clay bell replica of the TAMA bead


kigo for early winter

Itsukushima chinza sai
厳島鎮座祭 (いつくしまちんざさい)
Shrine dedication festival
oshimeshi, o shime shi 御燈消(おしめし)"turning off the lights"

yamaguchi toji no matsuri 山口閉の祭(やまぐちとじのまつり)
"closing down mountain roads" festival
After the shrine is closed down for the winter, it will be re-opened the next year for "openening the mountain road" 山口開. Loggers are not allowed to go to the forest and cut down trees during the closed time.

On the ten days from the first day of the wild boar in the tenth lunar month to the day of the monkey in the eleventh lunar month.
Nowadays on the first day of the monkey in November.

During these 10 days it is not allowed to make a loud noise on the island.
Things that produce lound and high noises are covered with blankets to keep them quiet. The lids of rice cookers had to be closed especially carefully.
On the last day, the day of the monkey, all lanterns and lights on the island are turned off and rituals are carried out in the dark.


Miyajima in the snow

夏の月 Summer Moon at Miyajima
- reference : Tsuchiya Koitsu  土屋光逸 (1870-1949) -


Sato Masato writes:
Due to belief in the "Three Female Kami" (sanjoshin) of Munakata at Itsukushima Jinja, the Itsukushima kami was worshipped as a protector of fishermen and boats.
Itsukushima is also known as a "military kami" (gunshin), as seen in this passage from the Ryōjin hishō:
"To the west of the [Ōsaka] checkpoint (seki) is the kami of the battlefield, Ichibon Chūsan (Kibitsu Shrine) and Itsukushima in Aki ..."
After becoming governor of Aki (Aki no kami 安芸守) in 1146, Taira no Kiyomori (1118~1181) often visited the shrine. Upon Kiyomori's recommendation, Goshirakawa-in and Kenshunmon-in visited the shrine in the third month of 1174, and Takakura Jōkō visited twice.

At the end of the Heian Period Itsukushima was worshipped by the entire Heike clan, and in 1168 the shrine's shaden structure was restored and expanded. This connection to the Heike clan may have originated in the trade and shipping in the Inland Sea that had flourished since the days of Taira no Tadamori (Kiyomori's father).

Due to Heike devotion, the Heike Nōkyō scrolls 平家納経 (a National Treasure) were originally donated to the shrine in 1164. In the medieval period Itsukushima was supported by the Ōuchi and Mōri clans, and the Shingon temple Suishōji 水精寺 became the shrine's administrative temple.

Also a legend began that Kūkai founded (kaisan) the temple Misen. The "original Buddhist deity" (honji) of Itsukushima was believed to be the Eleven-faced Kannon (Ekadasamukha Avalokitesvara) or Mahâvairocana.
Among commoners, a cult of Ebisu-gami developed, and Itsukushima was also worshipped by fishermen and merchants.
source : Kokugakuin University. 2006

. Shrine Munakata Taisha 宗像大社 .


The Deer are seen as messengers of the deity of Miyajima and roam freely, sometimes as a nuisance for the tourists.

Legend knows that when Mori Motonari and Sue Harukata fought their battle in 1555, Harukata had his troops near the shrine, while Motonari landed on the other side of the island, trying to get over the mountains and through the dense wild forest to make a surprize attack.
His troups almost lost their way in the dark night, but then a deer showed them the small path.
(The deer was MAYBE the priest of the shrine, disguised as a deer, trying to help his friend and sponsor Motonari.)

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Miyajima hariko 宮島張子 papermachee dolls

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. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .


Anagomeshi あなごめし Rice with eel

Station lunchbox from Miyajima
The great rice paddle shamoji in Miyajima 宮島しゃもじ

The island is also famous for its red maple leaves in autumn.

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. momiji manjuu もみじ饅頭
rice dumplings in the form of red maple leaves


Festivals calendar at Miyajima

Most rituals are accompanied by bugaku dance on the stage above the water.

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. . . . . January
Shin-i Kenjo-shiki Ceremony (offering new clothes to deities)Saitan-sai Festival

. . . . . February
Setsubun Festival
Miyajima Oyster Festival

. . . . . March
Memorial Service for Kitchen Knives
Kiyomori Shrine Festival
Miyajima Hina Doll Presentation

. . . . . April
Hiwatari . Walking Over Fire Ceremony
Satsuki Festival

. . . . . May
Memorial Service for Empress Suiko

. . . . . June
Japan's Ancient Martial Arts Performance
Kobo Daishi's Birthday Celebration
Great Benzaiten Festival of Itsukushima
(Daiganji Temple)
. Itsukushima Hime 厳島姫命
as Benten, Benzaiten 弁財天

. . . . . July
Seven Gods of Fortune Festival (Daishoin Temple)
Itsukushima Shrine Kangen Festival

. . . . . August
48,000-day Kannon Festival
Miyajima Floating Fireworks Festival
Kinseki Jizo - son Festival (Tokujuji Temple)

. . . . . September
Tanomosan (small boats filled with dolls and fruit that are set adrift from Itsukushima Shrine to sail toward the Otorii Gate.)
Mantoo-e . candle light memorial

. . . . . October
Akiyo Tomoeda Noh Performance
Sanno Shrine Festival
Tea Dedication Ceremony, Omote Senke

. . . . . November
Fudo Myo-o Festival, including
Walking Over Fire Ceremony (Daiganji Temple)
Maple Festival . Momiji Matsuri

. . . . . December
Chinka-sai (Festival for prevention of fire disaster)


Matsuo Basho wrote (Nozarashi Kiko)

年暮れぬ 笠きて草鞋はきながら
. toshi kurenu kasa kite waraji hakinagara .

wearing my travelers hat
and my straw sandals
the year comes to an end

(Other sources place this haiku in 1684,
when he returned to his home village in Iga Ueno.)

source : 宮島かわら版


yuku haru ya kyoo osame ni to Itsukushima

spring is passing -
I bring copied sutras
to Itsukushima

Natsume Soseki 夏目漱石

Heike Nokyo 平家納経
The famous sutras copied by the Heike

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Related words

***** WKD : Copying sutras (shakyoo)

. Hiroshima Prefecture Festivals  

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. Tengupedia - 天狗ペディア - Tengu ABC-List.

Sankiboo 三鬼坊 Sankibo, Sanki-Bo
厳島三鬼坊 Itsukushima

Sanki Daigongen 三鬼大権現
The local people call them 三鬼さん Sanki San.
Sanki Daigongen are three fierce guardian gods of 弥山 Mount Misen.

- 追帳鬼神 Tsuicho Kishin :福徳 Good Fortune - 大日如来 Dainichi Nyorai
- 時眉鬼神 Jibi Kishin:知恵 Wisdom - 虚空蔵菩薩 Kokuzo Bosatsu
- 魔羅鬼神 Mara Kijin :降伏 Surrender - 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O

- - - - - Amulet bell of Sanki-Bo

With the separation of Buddhism and Shinto during the Meiji period, they were moved to the 三鬼堂 Sankido Hall from their shrine 御山神社 Miyama Jinja.

source : amakara tosan
- 徳、智恵、降伏 -

大小の天狗 Big and small Tengu, long-nosed goblins, are their servants. Many people visit here to pray for the happiness of their family and the success of their business.
The first Prime Minister of Japan, 伊藤博文 Ito Hirobumi is said to have been an earnest devotee. He contributed a large amount to construct the climbing path.
A special hall is dedicated to this deities:
Sankodoo 三鬼堂 Sankido





Hiroshima Prefecture


. Regional Festivals - From Hokkaido to Okinawa .


Hiroshima Prefecture - 広島県 -Miyajima

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Hiroshima - Entries of this BLOG .


. Festivals in Hiroshima Prefecture - LIST .

. Itsukushima shrine festivals 厳島神社 .
Miyajima 宮島

. Mimi no o-matsuri 耳のお祭り festival for ears .
Mi Mi - third of the third month - pun with mi 三 number 3
Mimigo Jinja 耳明神社 Shrine Mimigo Jinja


広島東洋カープ必勝祈願祭 prayers for the Hiroshima Carps
at Hiroshima Gokoku Jinja広島市中区基町21番2号
- source : -
and 愛宕神社


External LINKS :

- Reference -

Related words

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan - GANGU . 

. Regional Dishes from Japan - WASHOKU .

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- #hiroshima -


LIST - Hiroshima Prefecture Festivals


Festivals in Hiroshima Prefecture

External LINK
source :

Gionsan Festival in Hichi 忠海の祇園祭みこし行事
Susa Shrine, Hichi, Konu-cho, Miyoshi City. Gion San
three days from the third Sunday of July

Annual summer festival of Susa Shrine, which originated 1,200 years ago and is dedicated to Susano no Mikoto (a deity in Japanese mythology).

The festival starts when 170 members of the Yano Shingi Group (important intangible folk-cultural asset of the prefecture) from the sacred ceremony in Joge-cho (Fuchu City) put on blue happi coats and visit the shrine playing gongs, Japanese drums, and Japanese flutes. When Susano no Mikoto toured the district, he is said to have entered Hichi in Konu-cho(Miyoshi City) by crossing a ridge from Yano in Joge-cho (Fuchu City). The procession of Yano Shingi
symbolizes the entrance of the deity to the mansion and is carried out by imitating
the wedding ceremony between him and the deity Kushiinadahime.

After the Yano Shingi Group performs the soul-stirring beating of drums in front of the shrine, the group, along with a children's mikoshi (portable shrine) and large mikoshi symbolizing Kushiinadahime, an important cultural property of the prefecture, proceed to Otabisyo Muto Shrine, which is about 100 meters from Susa Shrine.


Hanadaue Event of Mibu (rice planting event)
Mibu, Kitahiroshima-cho, Yamagata-gun. Taue

It is a rice planting event complete with beautifully harnessed bulls, saotome (rice planting maidens) in splashed-pattern kimono and sugegasa hats, and master drummers. Performed in a paddy field, the Hanadaue portrays an image right out of an old Japanese picture scroll.

The Hanadaue is also called dengaku or hayashida, which both roughly mean "paddy field music event". It is believed that Hanadaue originated either as a religious performance asking for a rich harvest or as entertainment to ease the pains of hardworking farmers.

On the day of the event, "Arita Kagura", a designated important intangible folk-cultural asset, and "Hanagasa Hat Dance" are also performed. "Arita Kagura" (sacred dance of Arita) features Yamata no Orochi (the eight headed monster python), Ama no Iwato (the rock door to heaven), and Kamioroshi (the welcoming ceremony for the god).


Hayashida Event of Shinjo (rice planting event)
Kitahiroshina-cho, Yamagata-gun

Originally a local rice planting event in the
Chugoku district, the event became widely known through its appearance at the All Japan Folk Dance and Music Festival representing the Chugoku district in 1928.

Soon after the appearance at the event, the Shinjo Provincial Art Preservation Committee was founded to preserve traditional entertainment. The committee was forced to cease activities during World War II, but after the war it was started again.

Hayashida is basically a traditional folk event worshipping "Sanbai", the god of rice fields, rather than an exhibition. Notably it has inherited the function of kamioroshi, in which the god of rice fields is welcomed to the ground. At the event, saotome, or rice planting maidens, and the music players are dressed in a rather subdued fashion.


Hiroshima Flower Festival
Peace Memorial Park. August 6

During the festival, a variety of groups stage a parade using the tune "Hana Guruma" (flower floats) as its theme. Starting from a colorful flower gate, the parade is led by beauty queens on flower floats including Miss Flower. They are followed by the Peace Drummers, The Flower Ondo (dance song) dancers wearing fashionable hanagasa hats, jazz dancers and baton twirlers. The local omikoshi, or portable shrines, are also featured in the parade.

A festival of "Flowers, Music and Dancing" is held on Heiwa Odori (Peace Boulevard) and at Peace Memorial Park during May 3-5, or Golden Week.


Kaidenma Race 櫂伝馬(かいでんま)
Osaki Kamijima-cho, Toyota-gun

Former Higashino-cho (present Osakikamijima-cho) is located in the northern area of Osakikamijima Island.

Sumiyoshi Shrine is located in Furue, a little north of Shiramizu. The summer festival of the shrine is held on June 29 of the lunar calendar, featuring the Kaidenma barge with oars

The barge race has been held since the completion of Sumiyoshi Shrine in 1827. The shrine, which branched out from Sumiyoshi Shrine in Osaka late in the Edo period, is dedicated to prayer for prosperity of the marine transportation business.

The barge race has been held since the completion of Sumiyoshi Shrine in 1827. The shrine, which branched out from Sumiyoshi Shrine in Osaka late in the Edo period, is dedicated to prayer for prosperity of the marine transportation business.

The race is completed with the first barge rowed up on shore winning. Toward the night, the five barges are decorated with lights and then are towed back home, accompanied by court music. It is a graciously beautiful sight reminding us of the triumphant return of suigun (naval forces).

The size of a barge must be 12 meters long and 1.8 meters wide. Seven oars are fixed on each side. A barge accommodates 18 members, including 14 rowers, a chief bargeman, a drummer, and cheering children (their gestures are called Daifuri and Kengaifuri). Each barge has a rectangular flag flying at its middle to show which area it comes from.


Kojin Kagura Performance
Tojo-cho and Saijo-cho, Shobara City

The Hiba district becomes a village of kagura in late autumn. A small scale kagura is called "Kojinsan". People put great efforts into a large scale kagura in special ceremonial years, such as the seventh, thirteenth, and thirty-third, as the greatest events in the district.

For large scale kagura, first a giant pan with boiling water is prepared in the garden of a farmer's house where the first kagura is to be prepared. Next, a Shinto priest dips bamboo branches in the hot water; he then proceeds to purify the site by waving the branches in the air. Then the people greet the shintai (an object of worship) from Kojin Shrine and place it on an altar.

To begin with, the music, played on Japanese drums, flutes, and gongs, is harmonized in "Uchitate". In seven dances, including Kyokumai, Sakakimai, and Kamimukae, several Shinto priests, wearing silk garments called "Kariginu", dance with fans, pendant paper strips and bells.

At dusk, the celebration moves to a shrine. After the seven ritual dances are performed again, Noh dancing begins. Based on ancient mythologies, such as "Opening the Gate of the Celestial Rock Cave" and "Handing Over the Country", dances appearing like stories seem to last without end.

When the sky begins to grow light, Takusen (divine revelation) starts, in which one of the Shinto priests works himself into a trancelike state, the climax of the ritual. People finally return the shintai to the shrine.


Tokasan Festival とうかさん
Temple Enryu-Ji and Chuo Dori Avenue

Tokasan is the summer festival for the god of Toka Daimyojin at Enryuji Temple, Mikawa-cho, Hiroshima City.

Since the name Tokasan can be a pun on the "10th day" (toka 十日 tooka) in Japanese, it is held annually June 8-10. The festival is also known as the Yukata Festival ゆかたできん祭. Yukata is a kimono of lightweight cotton, like a summer robe. People in Hiroshima are supposed to begin wearing their yukata from this day on.

During the three days of the festival, hundreds of street stalls with games and snack foods appear along Chuo Dori Avenue, including popular goldfish scooping, balloon fishing, grilled cuttlefish and more. The festival site is jammed with children in yukata and young couples indulging in kakigori, or flavored shaved ice. Yakuyoke uchiwa,or fan to ward off evil, is sold as a Tokasan specialty at the festival. Participants may be reminded of bygone days by the sight of little girls with these fans.


. Mihara Daruma 三原だるま .

Yassa Matsuri Festival 三原やっさ祭り
Mihara Yassa Daruman やっさだるマン - Second Sunday in august.

Along with shamisen (a three-stringed musical instrument), taiko (a drum) and cheerful accompanying music, dancers clad in yukata, simple summer kimono made of cotton, continue dancing wildly. Shouting, "Hah yassa, yassa", groups of dancers move by, one after another: dancing legs and hands that weave their way through the crowd; sweating youths, intoxicated with dancing; maiden groups with exuberant gestures responding to the sound of the powerful beating drums. Highlighted dancing on summer nights lasts, knowing no end. Shouts of "Yassa, yassa" surround the castle town until midnight.

Yassa Odori dancing, one of the prominent forms of traditional summer entertainment in Hiroshima Prefecture, is held as a three-day pageant in August every year, the last day being the second Sunday. The origin is not clear, but it is said that the songs belong to Haiya-bushi folk songs. It is possible that Haiya-bushi, sung at port towns, spread and became Yassa Odori. The dance has been influenced by characteristics of Nenbutsu Odori, sutra chant dancing, too. When Takakage Kobayakawa built Mihara Castle in 1567, the town people are said to have danced, celebrating its completion.

Although gestures of Yassa Odori were arranged and established after World War II, people danced freely and wildly as they liked before the war. Yassa Odori was presented in Mihara-shiko, a local history written in 1819.



Chinkasai chinka sai 鎮火祭(ちんかさい)
Fire extinguishing festival

Doounji no hana matsuri / Flower Festival at temple Doun-Ji

. Fude matsuri 筆まつり(ふでまつり)
brush festival
Kumano town, day of spring equinox (fude no hi 春の筆の日)

Fukuyama bara matsuri / Fukuyama rose festival

Hane odori / jumping and dancing

Higashimura no kakashi matsuri 東村町のかかし祭り
scarecrow festival

Hitomoshi matsuri 火ともしまつり(ひともしまつり)
"fire making" festival

. Itsukushima Shrine (Itsukushima Jinja)
Miyajima 宮島
Kashiwajima no Kangensai

Kaida shin machi choosai

Kameyama Hachiman san

Kure minato matsuri / Kure harbour festival

Mitsu Gion matsuri / Gion festival at Mitsu

Nigata no kai odori

Ondo Kiyomori matsuri

Ono matsuri 大野祭り(おおのまつり)

Onomichi Minato Matsuri / Onomichi Harbour Festival

Otebi shinji / "handheld fire ritual"

Sannose no boo no mai matsuri / Stick festival at Sannose

Tamatori sai 玉取祭(たまとりさい)

Yagura matsuri 櫓祭り(やぐらまつり)

Yoshiwara jingi 吉原神儀(よしわらじんぎ)

Yumi matsuri / Bow Festival, archery


Mitarai Port
呉市豊町御手洗(港町 広島)

Facing the Inland Sea, the port town is given a sedate air by the narrow streets lined with black tiled eaves. Reminders of the port's past prosperity include the port inns, Manshuji Temple, Daitoji Temple, the shrines of Ebisu and Sumiyoshi, and the remains of the House of Wakaebisuya and Shichikyoochi (an old house where seven court nobles stayed on their return to their homeland after being defeated by the Shogunate government).

The liners of the Seto Inland Sea were originally jinori, coastal liners. Later they changed into okinori, offshore liners. In the Kanei era (1624-1644), Mitarai, located in Ocho Village, became a shipping center and many ships came to call there partly because of the land formation which protects it from the wind.

At first, people of Ocho Village would only sell vegetables, logs, or water in Mitarai. But in 1666, houses were allowed to be built in Mitarai by the feudal clan, and Mitarai has followed the path to a major port town since then.

Machi toshiyori, a senior statesman, was dispatched there in 1713.
The port was very busy with foreign ships from the Netherlands and China, diplomatic ships dispatched by the Ryukyuan king, ships of Shogunate government officials, ships of feudal lords who were required to go up to Edo (now Tokyo) for alternate-year attendance, and westbound liners. The port was also an important point for trade. With its inner and outer harbors, the port was capable of taking in several hundred ships, and was the leading port of the Chugoku district.

Mitarai matsuri 御手洗祭り Mitarai Festival

source :

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Things found on the way



Related words

. Folk Toys from Hiroshima Prefecture .

Food from Hiroshima Prefecture

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