Showing posts with label Hyogo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hyogo. Show all posts


Imigomori retreat


Retreat on the day of the wild boar (imigomori )

***** Location: Kakogawa, Hyogo
***** Season: New Year
***** Category: Observance


imigomori 亥巳籠 (いみごもり)
ritual retreat
from the first day of the wild boar (i 亥)
to the day of the snake (mi 巳)

Kako no monoshizume 加古の物鎮(かこのものしずめ)
seclusion at Kakogawa

also spelled oigomori 亥巳籠(おいごもり)
and migomori 身籠 . 妊 means pregnant.

at the shrine Hioka jinja 日岡神社 in Kakogawa, Hyogo

People put up a new shimenawa rope for the shrine and place sacred branches in front of the sanctuary. From the hour of the wild boar to the hour of the snake seven days later they try to make no noise.

It is a pun on the sound of IMI (imi 忌み)
a period of respectful mourning or
a period of paying great respect to the deities.

Legend says that the mother of Yamato Takeru,
Princess Inahi ooiratsume no mikoto 稲日大郎姫命
(いなひおおいらつめのみこと)"Oiratsume of Inabi"
gave birth to the royal twins on the day of the snake at the end of this period.
So people keep quiet to make her birthing easier.

The priests of the shrine prepare special meals for the deities during this period.

On the last day, special arare sweets are distributed
(年の実 - fruit of the year)
and ritual shoting occurs in the shrine compound (matoi 的射).

After this ritual, spring was welcomed in the old province of Harima 播磨.

There are other igomori rituals in Japan.


Igomori matsuri
Seclusion festival.

A festival held from March eleventh to thirteenth at Tosa Jinja in Kōchi City, Kōchi prefecture. From the evening of March first the gūji (head priest) and shinshoku (shrine priests) enter into a period of monoimi (purificatory abstinence) On the afternoon of the twelfth a pair of chopsticks made from peeled haji (wax tree) branches is added to a container filled with steamed brown rice called mikinehan (thrice-pounded rice).
A rite is performed in which a special shinsen (sacred meal) is offered to the kami. Early on the morning of the thirteenth after the main ritual observance, the priests partake of a naorai (sacred communal meal). The head priest grasps some of the steamed brown rice that had been removed from its place of offering with chopsticks that have been broken in two and eats it. Then the other priests eat a portion of the brown rice in turn. In previous times after the ritual observance in front of the sessha (branch shrine) Nishigozensha, the priest is said to have performed a rice planting rite called saitsukuri.

At Hisamaru Jinja in Kanbe, Tahara-chō, Atsumi-gun, Aichi prefecture, on the day of the monkey in January there was an
igomori matsuri
(written 忌籠祭).
The priests moved the shintai (sacred object) to which the kami's spirit had been transferred, carrying it next to the breast, and performed cold water ablutions in the sea. Since residents were not permitted to watch the movement of object and priests from the shrine to the sea and back again, the rite came to be called the nematsuri (sleeping festival) because the residents closed their doors and took to their beds. According to tradition, the people had to be discrete because the kami (saijin) worshipped at the shrine was originally a senior court noble who did not want to be seen because of his unsightly appearance.

At Hioka Jinja in Kakogawa City, Hyōgo prefecture there is an imigomori (亥巳籠, "boar and snake seclusion") festival that lasts from the first day of the boar of the first lunar month until the day of the snake
- this igomori (亥巳籠) rite puns on the igomori (忌籠) festival at Hisamaru Jinja.
The character "i" in the latter case is usually read "imi," meaning purificatory abstinence or taboo .
If the observances of the taboo were insufficient, Mt. Hioka was said to rumble and batsu (divine punishment) would follow.
source : Mogi Sakae, Kokugakuin


Hioka jinja 日岡神社

This shrine is famous for making prayers for a save delivery (anzan).

. . . CLICK here for Photos of ema !

ema votive tablet for the year of the Tiger

Deities in residence

天伊佐佐比古命 Amenoisasa hiko no mikoto
Ame no Isasa Hiko no Mikoto
豊玉比売命 Toyotamahime
鵜草葺不合尊 Ugayafukiaezu no mikoto 盧茲草葺不合尊
father of Jinmu Tenno 神武天皇
天照皇大御神 Amaterasu Omikami
市杵島比売命 Ichikishimahime

. Anzan o-Mamori, 安産お守り
Talismans for Safe Delivery .

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. imi 忌み / 斎み taboo in Shintoism .


A son of Emperor Keikō, and father to Emperor Chūai.
Yamatotakeru's mother was Ōiratsume of Inabi in Harima, the daughter of Wakatakekibitsuhiko, ancestor of the clan known as Kibi no Omi.

. Yamato Takeru, Yamatotakeru 日本武尊 .


mi no koku 巳の刻 the double-hour of the snake

Kitagawa Utamaro - Hour of the Snake
from the series Twelve Hours in the Yoshiwara

Hour of the snake, from 9 to 11 in the morning.
This is the time when snakes begin to leave their habitats.

- quote -
Traditionally in Japan, the day was divided into twelve intervals, each named after a zodiacal sign. This way of telling time provided Utamaro with a clever schema for a series depicting the life of the Yoshiwara courtesan. A cartouche in the shape of a pillar clock contains the title of the series, and the individual hours are announced on the bell portion. The present print depicts the hour of the snake (9-11 a.m.), with a courtesan emerging from her morning lustrations to receive a refreshing cup of tea from a servant.

The image of pampered courtesans in prints like this belies the sometimes harsh reality of their lives. Many courtesans were purchased from poor families as young girls, through a network of scouts that scoured the countryside for potential candidates. While successful courtesans enjoyed an education that brought not only literacy and social skills, but also many physical comforts, they also incurred substantial financial obligations. Courtesans had daily quotas of clients (which if they failed to meet, resulted in heavy penalties), and it was common for them to be in a state of perpetual indebtedness that resulted in virtual slavery.
- source : -


giving birth
to a special haiku -
wild boar and snake

Gabi Greve, January 2012

Related words

***** . NEW YEAR - the complete SAIJIKI

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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Hyogo Prefecture


. Regional Festivals - From Hokkaido to Okinawa .


Hyogo Prefecture - 兵庫県 Hyoogo

Hyōgo Prefecture (兵庫県, Hyōgo-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island.
The capital is Kobe.
The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.
Present-day Hyōgo Prefecture includes the former provinces of
Harima, Tajima, Awaji, and parts of Tamba and Settsu.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Hyogo - Entries of this BLOG .


. Suma no misogi 須磨の御禊 (すまのみそぎ)
purification at Suma .

..... Suma no harai 須磨の祓(すまのはらい)
Suma Beach near Kobe


External LINKS :

Festivals of Hyogo prefecture
Himeji, Kobe, Aioi Peron, AKo Gishisai, Hojo Sekku, Miki Oni-Oi, Tatsuno Takoage
source :

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History
Festivals in Hyogo
Real matsubara yatai (=roadside food vendor) or Kaichi danjiri are displayed.
You can enjoy the atmosphere of the festivals by listening to the music or watching the images.
source :

- Reference -

Related words

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan - GANGU . 

. Regional Dishes from Japan - WASHOKU .

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Kobe Festival


Kobe Festival (Kobe Matsuri)

***** Location: Kobe City
***** Season: Early SUmmer
***** Category: Observance


Sunday May 15, 2011
Green, Sea and Love

Along Flower Road, Kyu-Kyoryuchi (Old Foreign Settlement), Harborland
This is a rather new festival. There will be a
Omatsuri Parade, Hanabutai and more.

This festival started in 1971 as a highlight of the summer season and has since attracted many people, even from neighboring prefectures. It could not be held the year after the great Hanshin earthquake, due to the effects of the big earthquake. Some of the highlights are a Samba Festival, performed by dancers from Rio de Janeiro, and an the offshore firework display, the Reborn Kobe Parade, and performancse by street performers from all over the world.

The Sambastreet event takes place in Kyomachi-suji Avenue.

It will be held in 2011 as a charity event to support the people of Tohoku.
. Japan after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011

41st 神戸まつり Kobe Matsuri
CLICK for more photos

source :


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Things found on the way

Other festivals in Kobe
source :

Shunsetsu-sai - Spring Festival
This is a Chinese festival to celebrate the traditional New Years. During the festival Chinatown is adorned with beautiful ornaments and firecrackers go off on the streets. A 40-meter long dragon dances through the streets. Also, a miniature dragon dance and acrobatics are performed by a local Chinese dance team.

. Shunsetsu-sai 春節祭 Spring Festival .

Kitano International Festival
(Last weekend of July)
This festival, organized with the cooperation of the foreign community, is held at the Kitano Tenma Shrine. Booths are erected within shrine compounds where international goods and dishes are sold. Also, people from different countries show their national dances and perform other shows. At this famous shrine the warlord Sugawara Michizane is worshipped

The Great Arima Tea Ceremony
(November 2 and 3)
This festival was started in 1971 as a highlight of the summer season and has since attracted many people, even from neighboring prefectures. It could not be held the last year due to the effects of the big earthquake, but it was held this year. Some of this year's highlights were the Samba Festival, performed by dancers from Rio de Janeiro, the offshore fireworks, the Reborn Kobe Parade, and performance by street performers from all over the world. It was a grand event.


Minato Kobe Fireworks


a strong wind
lifts the skirts -
Samba parade 

Nakayama Ishino

Related words

***** . Kobe Dolls (Kobe ningyoo 神戸人形

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Maya Temple Visit


Maya Temple Visit (Maya moode)

***** Location: Kobe, Japan
***** Season: Early Spring
***** Category: Observance


Maya moode 摩耶詣 (まやもうで)
visiting the Maya temple
..... Maya mairi 摩耶参(まやまいり)
Maya konbu 摩耶昆布(まやこんぶ)Maya kelp


butsumo-e 仏母会 Ceremony for Buddha's Mother
observance kigo for early summer
May 8

Near the top of Mount Rokko in Ashiya, Kobe, on Mount Maya, there is a small temple dedicated to Maya, Mother of Shakyamuni Buddha.

CLICK for more photos

Temple Butsumo Maya San Tooriten Jooji
Maya san Tenjooji 摩耶山天上寺 Tenjo-Ji

Tooriten is the name of a Buddhist paradise, where the deity Taishaku-Ten is in residence.

There are two famous statues, one of a Kannon with eleven heads and
one of the Mother of Shakyamuni Buddha 仏母摩耶夫人 (in the middle, below).

source PHOTO : ruri no hoshi

At the time of Tenmu Tenno the priest Hodo Sennin 法道仙人 (hoodoo sennin) founded this temple
. . . CLICK here for Photos of Hodo Sennin !
空鉢(くはつ ) Kuhatsu
Karahachi Sennin 空鉢仙人(からはちせんにん)
"Mountain ascet with the emply begging bowl"
He came all the way from India, via Korea.
Together with him came the deity Gozu Ten-o 牛頭天王 (Ox-head Deity), who is celebrated at Shrine Hiromine Jinja 広峰神社 in Hiroshima and during the Gion Festival in Kyoto.

In former times, the local farmers around Mount Rokko 六甲山 came up here to the Maya temple ith their horses on the first day of the horse in the second lunar month and celebrated.
Nowadays it is celebrated on the spring equinox day in March.

People also came to pray for easy childbirth and health for the children and themselves. Maya is a guardian deity of women.

Maya konbu 摩耶昆布

As a speciality of this festival, konbu kelp on a string was sold. In former times it was transported on horseback.

The sound of Maya is said to remind the people of the sound of uma (horse), hence the strong relationship.

Maya-san is one of the highest peaks around Kobe (2,446ft), commanding superb views across Osaka Bay. The mountain is a sacred site for Japanese Buddhism, and is associated with Maya Bunin, Mother of The Buddha. During the Meiji Period, the temple here, also known as 'Moon Temple', housed a small figure of Maya Bunin said to have been made by Order of Wu Ti during the Liang Dynasty era of the 6th century.
The sculpture was brought from China by Kobo Daishi. The annual festival of the Moon Temple took place during the 7th Day of the 7th Moon, an occasion during which the pilgrims ascended the mountain by night. Those taking part achieved the same merit as if they had made the ascent 48,000 times.
source :


Festivals to honor the Mother of Budda

3月 春分の日  摩耶詣 Maya Mairi

5月8日  仏母会 Ritual for the Mother of Buddha
5月15日  仏母忌 Memorial Day for the Mother of Buddha

7月 初旬  沙羅祭り Shara matsuri Sara Tree Festival 羅双樹

Festivals to honor Kobo Daishi

3月21日  正御影供
6月15日  青葉祭り his birthday
8月21日  夏弘法

More festivals
source :

Homepage of this temple


mist over the gate
no one seen around,
a temple on the hillside

Hideo Suzuki

temple visits ...
familiar to my feet
in a dream

Dennis Chibi Holmes

clearing mist -
hillside temple's gate
wide open

Rosie Mann

- Shared by Hideo Suzuki -
Joys of Japan, July 2012


A haiku by Yosa Buson, written at this temple:

na no hana ya maya o kudareba hi no kururu

rapeseed flowers -
walking down from Maya temple
it is getting dark

- - - - - Better known is this haiku by Buson,
also written at this temple

na no hana ya tsuki wa higashi ni hi wa nishini

rapeseed flowers -
the moon is in the east,
the sun in the west

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .


Maya on a Japanese stamp
The statue is at the temple Horyu-Ji

Maya Fujin, Maya Bunin 摩耶夫人
Queen Maya, Lady Maya
The mother of Shakyamuni Buddha

Queen Māyā of Sakya (Māyādevī) was the birth mother of the historical Gautama Buddha, Siddhārtha of the Gautama gotra, and sister of Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī the first Buddhist nun ordained by the Buddha. "Māyā" means "illusion" or "enchantment" in Sanskrit and Pāli. Māyā is also called Mahāmāyā ("Great Māyā") and Māyādevī ("Queen, literally a female-deva, 'goddess,' Māyā").
In Tibetan she is called Gyutrulma. Queen Mayadevi was born in Devadaha kingdom of Nepal.

Queen Māyā and King Suddhodhana did not have children for twenty years into their marriage. One day however, according to legend, Queen Māyā dreamt of a divine Bodhisattva on white elephant touching her side, and became pregnant.

Māyā gave birth to Siddharta c. 563 BCE. The pregnancy lasted ten lunar months.
Maya Devi was delighted by the park and gave birth standing while holding on to the branch of a sal branc. Legend has it that Prince Siddhārtha may have emerged from her right side. It was the eighth day of April.

Some interpretations of the life story of the Buddha attribute his birth to a virgin birth.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

LOOK at more english information
Mother Maya and Child, India

摩耶夫人像(まやぶにんぞう)Maya bunin
. . . CLICK here for Photos of Japanese Maya Statues !

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Gozu Ten-o (牛頭天王) and the Gion Festival  

. Taishakuten, Taishaku-Ten 帝釈天  
Indra, Sakra Deva 


Maya moode tsutsu ni saimai narashi keri

Maya temple visit -
rice offerings rustle
in the bamboo tubes

Yoshida Toyo (Tooyoo) 吉田冬葉 (1892 - 1956)


Mayazoo no jiai no manako kiku biyori

this affectionate expression
of the Maya statue -
bright day for chrysanthemus

Tamura Aiko 田村愛子

. . . . .

shuuryoo ya Mayazoo no sode shikato mishi

coolness in autumn -
I look carefully at the sleeve
of Maya's statue

Miyagishi Mie 宮岸美

source :

Related words

***** . Rape blossoms (na no hana 菜の花)   

***** . konbu 昆布 (こんぶ) kombu kelp   

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Nada Kenka Matsuri


Nada Fighting Festival (Nada no Kenka Matsuri)

***** Location: Himeji, Hyogo
***** Season: Late Autumn
***** Category: Observance


October 14th and 15th
Matsubara Hachiman Shrine
Shirahama-cho Ko, Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture

姫路 松原八幡神社


This is the biggest "fighting festival" in Japan.

The night of the tenth lunar month was the full moon night of Autumn in the Asian lunar calendar.

CLICK for more photos

Portable shrines fiercely jolted against one another produce breathtaking scenes befitting a 'Fighting Festival'

It came to be called by this name, Kenka Matsuri or 'Fighting Festival' because the mikoshi (portable shrines) are jolted against one another when carried on the shoulders of the men in the parade.

There are no detailed rules or opponents for the vehement collisions of the portable shrines. As soon as the portable shrines are set properly on the men's shoulders and everyone is ready, they are knocked against one another at random, and the moment a portable shrine is hoisted on top of another, the contest is over.

The greatest attraction is the struggle among 3 portable shrines when men over 35 wearing white headbands, those of 26-35 with yellow headbands and youths under 26 marked by red headbands, holding bamboo poles in their hands, join in the fight. A vehement struggle unfolds but this is in no way a fight between the men. This festival, which is the largest of the numerous fighting festivals held nationwide, is not only famous in Japan but is also becoming widely known overseas.

The highlight of this festival is Yatai-neri, the parade of "yatai", festival floats, gorgeously decorated with wood carving, gold and silver handiwork and embroidered curtains. The yatai are carried on the shoulders of men and are surrounded by the men holding "shide" (bamboo poles decorated with colorful paper) in their hand. As dusk sets in, illuminations on each of the yatai are lit.
source :


There are seven districts of the town which carry their own highly decorated portable shrines (yatai 屋台) in the procession. The shrines are very heavy and are pulled and pushed on wheels. More than 3000 men take part in the various processions, and all children are proud when they are allowed to participate for the first time.
A famous group of lion dancers and drums accompany the procession.
The yatai come from 木場、松原、八家、妻鹿、宇佐崎、中村. The seventh village group does not participate, but carries the three large banners of the deities.
The yatai rub each other (neriawase 練り合わせ). When it gets dark, each yatai is decorated with lanterns.

CLICI for original link and more photos
三の丸・一の丸・二の丸 Boat three, one and two

The three portable shrines for the final fighting are much lighter and made for destruction. Every year before the festival it takes their bearers about one month to repair them, only to carry them out on the festival day to be destroyed again.
The three "boats" carry the three deities

Hondawake no mikoto 品陀和気命(ほんだわけのみこと)- Ojin Tenno (son of Jingu) in the center (later to be deified as Hachiman)

Okinagatarashi hime no mikoto
- Emperess Jingu on the left

Hime Ookami 比咩大神(ひめおおかみ)- wife of Hachiman

The legend of the shrine tells about a fisherman from Mega, who found a plank on the shore with the inscription "Great Bosatsu Hachiman"
八幡大菩薩 and a shrine was erected to honor this plank, which was supposed to come from Usa Jingu. (See Jingu, link below.)

. . . . .

The origin of these fighting mikoshi, which are counted boats (maru) in this shrine, dates back to the Emperess Jingu Kogo 神功皇后 (Jinguu Koogoo), who was on a war expedition against Korea when she passed Himeji. The boats of her entourage were covered with oyster shells and she thought a quick way to remove them would be to bang and rub the boats against each other.
Today's "fight" is in memory of this legend.

On the evening before the main festival (yoi miya 宵宮, yoi no miya 宵の宮), all the portable shrines are paraded around town and to the main shrine. Before participating, the men have to take an ablution in the cold waters of the sea at Shirahama 白浜町.

On the second day of the festival (honmiya 本宮) the portable shrines first carried around to "wipe off the dew" (tsuyu harai 露払い), together with the lion dancers and drums.

CLICK for more photos

Then they are carried up a steep slope in the west of the compount, to a "travel station" 御旅山 with the main Hachiman Shrine as an offering for the deities.
When coming back they have to pass the Sakura Gate of the Shrine, which is so low that part of the roof decoration has to be taken down before they can pass and get the blessing of the Shinto priest.

When they are back in the shrine compound, the real fight of the three boats begins, often lasting until late in the night, until all the boats are brought to fall on the ground. The men are quite exhausted from carrying the heave loads all day long, but they never give up.

CLICK for more photos

The portable shrine bearers are called "neriko 練り子. They wear a special amulet in the color of their group around their arms 腕守り, given to them by mother or wife, for protection against injuries in the heavy battles. A nearby hospital is on stand-by just in case. There have been two cases of death by being crushed in recent years.

CLICK for more photos

Many visitors are lined up in seats around the main "arena" in the temple ground and along the roads.


. Emperess Jingu and the Hachiman Cult  

. Jingu Kogo 神功皇后 and Japanese Dolls .

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Things found on the way


灘けんか祭 Nada Kenka Matsuri

akibare no kuru soodai no kuro haori

in autumn sunshine
the representatives in their
formal black coats

Asazuma Chikara 朝妻力
source : 俳誌のsalon


Related words

***** WKD : Autumn Festival (aki matsuri)

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