Showing posts with label Ibaraki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ibaraki. Show all posts


Ibaraki prefecture


. Regional Festivals - From Hokkaido to Okinawa .


Ibaraki / Ibaragi Prefecture - 茨城県

located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu.
The capital is Mito.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Ibaraki - Entries of this BLOG .


Hitachi Furyu Mono and Hitachi Sasara

"I Love Ibaraki" festival - held in October

Ishioka Festival
Sep. 18th to 20th

Japanese Clover Festival

. Madara Kishin Sai マダラ鬼神祭 Madara Demon God Festival .
Amabiki Kannon, Temple Rakuhooji

Mito Summer Festival

Saito Sai
(Kashima City)

Takasai Jinja 高道祖神社 - Sayariboo 塞り棒(さやりぼう)
Dosojin Festival 道祖神祭
- source : -

Tsuchiura National Fireworks Competition
(Tsuchiura City)

(Ryūgasaki City)


External LINKS :

Ibaraki's Highlights and Important Information
source : ibaraki-festivals

- Reference -

Related words

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan - GANGU . 

. Regional Dishes from Japan - WASHOKU .

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- #ibaraki -


Kashima Shrine


Kashima Shrine (Kashima jinguu)

***** Location: Ibaraki
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Observance


Kashima Shrine 鹿島神宮 Kashima Jingu

This shrine is dedicated to the deity
CLICK for original link,
Tekemikazuchi standing on a catfish

Takemikazuchi no mikoto (武甕槌大神)
Kashima Daijin (鹿島大神) "Great God at Kashima".
a patron of the martial arts.

In the precincts ther is a famous training hall (doojoo) for martial arts, especially sword fighting (kendoo 剣道).

The "Great God of Kashima" rode on a white deer from Kashima all the way to the Kasuga shrine in Nara as a divine messenger, and the deer became the symbol of Nara.
The Kasuga Deer Mandala tells the story.

Kashima Deer, Photo from Rob Geraghty

Look at more
. . .Japan Photos from Rob Geraghty

Thank you, Rob, for sharing your photos!
Rob lived in Kashima for quite a while in 2002.


kigo for the New Year

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Kashima no kotobure 鹿島の事触 (かしまのことぶれ)
Kashima diviners, itinerant priests
..... kotobure 言触(ことぶれ)

36 people walk around the villages and shout the outcome of the divination at the shrine Kashima (鹿島神宮), which occured on January 4.
see below


. . hakubasai, hakuba sai 白馬祭(はくばさい)
Festival of the White Horse

If you see a white horse during the New Year celebrations, you will live a long life and ward off evil for the coming year and stay healthy. Therefore shrines with a white horse make a parade for all to see the animal.
In Kashima, they parade seven white horses. If you pick up a small stone where the horses walked or have your hankerchief trodden on, this will bring your love to fulfillment.
On this day, white sweet ricewine (amazake) and porridge of seven herbs is also served.

Ema votive tablet from Katori shrine 香取神宮

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 


kigo for mid-spring

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Kashima Saitoosai 鹿島祭頭祭 (かしまさいとうさい)
Kashima Saito-Sai Festival

March 9

The Saito Sai dates back more than 1200 years to the Nara Period (710 to 794). Soldiers called sakimori 防人 were sent off to do duty in far-away Kyushu. Before leaving, they gathered at Kashima Jingu to offer prayers for victory in battle and a safe journey. Many people paraded through the streets to see them off and wish them well. Lately this has become a wild parade through the city.

Now the festival is held to pray for a good harvest of the five crops, rice, wheat, beans, foxtail millet and egg millet. Officials in traditional garb with sashes to hold back the long sleeves in the five colors representing these crops parade through the street.

Others with long poles jump around a drummer, dance and sing the special festival song "Soranbushi ソーラン節". There are many wild groups of this kind, all in different colored robes.

. Reference

The Legacy of Sakimori - the frontier guard conscripts
The term SAKIMORI first appeared in 645, and it is interesting to look at its etymology. Though the Japanese characters used to write it are now 防人, which is a compound difficult even for Japanese to read and literally means DEFENDING PEOPLE, the origin of the word as it PRONOUNCED comes from the characters 崎守 SAKI MORI, which means defenders of the capes, the fringes of the country, or 境守, SAKAIMORI, literally border protecters.

Another way of writing the word sakimori 先守, sheds further light on the intended purpose of this conscripted force as it means the pre- defenders, or the first line of defense, which is in fact what they would have been in case of an invasion. Their role would be to hold off the enemy long enough for a large army made up of soldiers from Western Japan to show up.

. . . The Sakimori system, which actually remained in operation for a period of 163 years ( until 826), imposed great hardships on the conscripted men and on their families ( which was why the system was eventually abolished, along with the fact that the fear of invasion also eventually faded away).

The Songs of The Sakimori - SAKIMORI NO UTA
made their way into the Manyoshu.


arare furi Kashima no kami o inoritsutsu
suberamikusa ni ware wa ki ni shi o

I have come, as a warrior for the Emperor,
to pray before the God of Kashima

source :

arare furi 霰ふり hail falls
is a special word (makurakotoba) to denote the God of Kashima in the Manyoshu poetry.


kigo for early autumn

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Kashima matsuri 鹿島祭 (かしままつり)
Kashima Festival
Kashima goshinkoosai 鹿島御神幸祭(かしまごしんこうさい)

September 1 and 2
(it used to be in the seventh lunar month)


observance kigo for the New Year

Hitachi obi no shinji 常陸帯の神事 (ひたちおびのしんじ)
Hitachi Belt Ceremony
Hitachi obi no matsuri 常陸帯の祭(ひたちおびのまつり)
Hitachi obi 常陸帯(ひたちおび)"Belt from Hitachi"
Kashima no obi 鹿島の帯(かしまのおび)"Belt from Kashima"
enmusubi no shinji 縁結び神事(えんむすびしんじ)
ceremony for finding a partner

On the 10th day of the first lunar month.
It is customary for a young girl to present a girdle to the Gods of Kashima and wish for a good partner in life. They would write the name of their future husband on the belt and hope for the Deities to tie the knot for them.

This dates back to Emperess Jingu Kogo and her belt during pregnancy.

. Jingu Kogo 神功皇后 and Japanese Dolls .


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Kashima Shinko 鹿島信仰

It is possible to think of Kashima faith as the sect based at Kashima Jingū in Kashima-machi, Ibaraki Prefecture, but it can broadly be divided into beliefs related to water, "tutelary of roads" (sae no kami 障の神(さえのかみ)), and Kashima shrines. Many regions and shrines bear the name "Kashima," and since these are usually found in river, stream, lake, or swamp areas, we can assume that the origins of Kashima faith are profoundly connected with water.

Images of sae no kami are called Kashima dolls, straw dolls, Shōkisama, and dōsojin, among other names. Most of these images are very large, made of straw, and are characterized by their exposed sexual organs. They protected village borders from the invasion of "plague kami" (ekishin) and were prayed to in order to ensure safety or prosperity. In some regions, during the Kashima Festival dolls are placed in "Kashima boats" and sent out to sea in order to send ekishin away.

According to the Hitachi no kuni fudoki, the "enshrined kami" (saijin) at Kashima Jingū in Kashimamachi, Ibaraki Prefecture is "Kashimanoama no ōkami," but there are many documents, including the Kojiki, which record the saijin as Takemikadsuchi no kami. The latter is worshipped at the first shrine within Kasuga Taisha, and was exalted to a "kami of the nation" (kokkashin) when the imperial court expanded into the Tōgoku region.

In the Heian Period, the Jinmyōchō section of the Engishiki records that "spirit emanations" (bunrei) of the Kashima kami and "honorable child kami" (mikogami) were enshrined in Mutsu no kuni, indicating that the cult may have spread in connection with the government’s expansion into the Tōhoku area.

Even into the early modern period, the distribution of Kashima emblems (shinsatsu) by itinerant Kashima priests called kotobure was a means of spreading the Kashima cult among the common people. The popularity of the "three-shrine pilgrimage" that included Katori, Kashima and Ikisu was the result of the development of inland waterway transport on the Tonegawa and other rivers, and is also related to the growing economic status of the Edo populace.

The ritual of "hitachiobi 常陸帯 " on January 14 at Kashima Shrine became widely known, being mentioned in The Tale of Genji and in a yōkyoku (Noh script).

From the medieval period, the virtues of Kashima were "preached" (shōdō ) by traveling monks. This can be inferred by the inclusion of the chapters "Kashima Daimyōjin" and "Kasuga Daimyōjin no koto" in the Shintoshū. The Hachimangū dōkun (also read dōkin) and various Hachiman "origin legends" (engi) include a story where the Kashima kami is equated with Azumi no isora and a legend about Shioyaki Bunta. Shioyaki Bunta is also the protagonist of the otogi-zōshi tale "Bunshō sōshi," but the Hachiman legend comes from a separate tradition. These stories spread through the preaching of low-ranking religious leaders and Zenkōji hijiri.

The "Kashima odori" performed in the western area of Sagami Bay involved dancing while dressed up as Kashima no kotobure, who would travel around distributing takusen of good or bad fortune and amulets. The dance may have originated at Kashima Shrine. There is also a legend about a "keystone" (kaname ishi) within the shrine precincts that the kami of Kashima uses to restrain a tremendous fish under the earth, whose movement causes earthquakes.
Thus, Kashima is also famous for its cult of warding off earthquakes.
source : Nogami Takahiro / Kokugakuin University.

常陸国鹿島神社 Hitachi no Kuni, Kashima Jinja

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

米倉鹿嶋神社 献饌行事 Yonekura-kashima-jinja Kensen-gyouji 
The Kensen Ritual at Yonekura Kashima Shrine

The Kensen Ritual is performed on September 9 to 10 every year at Kashima Shrine in the Yonekura area in Osaki City, the rice producing center of Miyagi Prefecture, where famous rice brands such as Sasanishiki and Hitomebore were born.

Kensen is a Shinto ritual of offering food to the god.
It is performed before a shrine priest offers a prayer. As the oldest and most historic shrine in Osaki City, this ritual had been performed by the descendants of the vassals of the Osaki clan (a branch of the Ashikaga clan, who were descended from Seiwa Genji) until the end of World War II. Today it is performed by the hands of local people.

On the first day, the first rice ear of the season is offered to the god in appreciation for a rich harvest. Then, it is followed by other rites and ends with Naorai (banquet), in which holy sake wine and votive offerings are served to the participants. The finale of the festival is the parade of Mikoshi performed on the second day. This solemn ritual is prefecturally designated as an intangible folk cultural property (manners and customs).

Kashima Castle
was located in Shiroyama, Kashima City, Ibaraki Pref. It was built by Kashima Masamiki in the Kamakura period (1192-1333). The Kashima clan was appointed as Sodaigyoji-shoku (general director of rituals) in 1368. Since then the family was called by this title and gained prosperity.

Kashima Shrine Festivals and Kagura Dance
source :


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Kashima Torii 鹿島鳥居 Kashima Shrine Gate
a type of 神明鳥居 Shinmei torii, a rather simple form without an incline or secondary lintel. The topmost lintel is round and longer than the two pillars.
Another sample is at Katori Jinguu 香取神宮.

. Torii 鳥居
The Gate of a Shinto Shrine

Katori Shrine sells this :
. amulet against sainan 災難除守 misfortune and disaster .


. Anzan, Talismans for easy delivery
One very famous historical Anzan Talisman in the shape of a crystal pearl was used by Fujiwara no Ishii 藤原威子 and then donated in 1034 to Kashima Shrine, later it was also used by Emperess Jingu Kogo 神功皇后 Jinguu Koogoo.


source : 20century.blog2 地震錦絵

. Earthquake myths about Kashima  

A giant catfish (namazu) lived in mud beneath the earth. The catfish liked to play pranks and could only be restrained by Kashima, a deity who protected the Japanese people from earthquakes. So long as Kashima kept a mighty rock with magical powers over the catfish, the earth was still. But when he relaxed his guard, the catfish thrashed about, causing earthquakes.


. Yamaoka Tesshu 山岡鉄舟
His father was a retainer of the Tokugawa Government and his mother was the daughter of a Shinto priest from Kashima Shrine.

Tsukahara Bokuden 塚原卜伝
(1489 - March 6, 1571)
塚原小太郎勝義 Tsukahara Kotaro Yoshikatsu

a famous swordsman of the early Sengoku period. He was widely regarded as a kensei (sword saint). He was the founder of a new Kashima style of fencing, and served as an instructor of Shogun Ashikaga Yoshiteru and Ise provincial governor Tomonori Kitabatake.
... He later systematized the teaching of the Kashima area's local martial arts, including such approaches to combat as Kashima no tachi and Ichi no tachi. After allegedly receiving a divine inspiration from Takemikazuchi no kami, the deity of Kashima Shrine, he named his martial system as Kashima Shintō-ryū. He also, for a brief period, called his system Mutekatsu-ryū ("winning without hands").
He died of natural causes in 1571. His grave, in Suka, Japan where Baikouji once stood, is a kind of pilgrimage site for those devoted to Japanese sword-fighting arts (kenjutsu).
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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

Hinamaru Enkai 圓海 / 円海 of Haguro Mountain
? 塚原卜伝十二番勝負
? 塚原小太郎修験者円海と羽黒山 - Tsukahara Kotaro
. . . CLICK here for Photos : Tsukahara Kotaro 塚原小太郎 !

- quote -
the martial arts master Tsukahara Bokuden receives divine instruction in the art of fencing from a mysterious yamabushi (mountain priest) tengu named Enkai of Haguro Mountain.
print by 月岡芳年 Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
- source : Mark Schumacher -

. Haguro San 羽黒山 . 羽黒出羽三山 Three mountains of Dewa .

塚原卜伝 by 石ノ森 章太郎


Matsuo Basho

kono matsu no mibae seshi yo ya kami no aki

this old pine
sprouted in the age of gods -
autumn of the Gods

Kashima Kiko, Kashima Mairi, Kashima Mode 鹿島詣
Kashima Journal, Pilgrimage to Kashima Shrine
In 1687
He started off by boat from Basho-an on the 14th day of the 8th lunar month to see the full moon.
He visited temple Kashima Konpon-Ji 鹿島根本寺 and stayed with the priest Butchoo 仏頂和尚 Butcho (1643– 1715). Basho practised Zen with Master Butcho.
He came back home on the 25th.

The impact of Zen Buddhism on Basho's haikai is a popular theme for Western writers. Basho's encounter with his Zen teacher, Butcho is estimated to have taken place around 1681 (Tenwa 1) a year after Basho moved to Fukagawa.
We may recall that just before the move he composed an important poem
kare eda ni karasu no tomari taru ya aki no kure
(On the withered branch/ A crow has alighted-/ Nightfall in Autumn. Tr DK).
This autumn poem is said to reflect the influence on him of the monk-poets of the Gozan Zenrin. He made the famous trip to Kashima, east of Edo, to visit Butcho, now an old friend, at the Nemoto-ji Temple in 1687 (Jokyo 4) and it was a year before this that he composed the verse
furuike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto.

. WKD : Karumi and Zen - Susumu Takiguchi .

. Travelling with Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 .

. Zen Master Butchoo, Butchō 仏頂和尚 Butcho and Temple Ungan-Ji .
(1643– 1715)

Even a sake ricewine is named after Basho ! Cheers !

. A visit to Mount Tsukuba 筑波山 .

Basho in Kashima, tr. by Ueda
source :


Another hokku Basho wrote on his trip to Kashima

tsuki hayashi kozue wa ame o mochinagara

fleeting moon
while rain clings
to the twigs

Tr. Haldane

Written at temple 根本寺 Konpon-Ji.

- Kashima Kikoo 鹿島紀行 - A Visit to the Kashima Shrine -
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


hakubai ya Natori Kashima o ichinichi ni

these white plum blossoms -
Natori, Kashima
visited in one day

Nomura Kishuu 野村喜舟 (1886 - 1983)


oshine yoki Kashima no fure mo uwasa kana

late rice plants -
the predictions from Kashima
are just some gossip

Takada Chooi 高田蝶衣 (1886. 1.30 - 1930. 9.23)

Related words

***** . Nai no kami 地震神 God of Earthquakes  

. jishin 地震 Legends about Earthquakes .

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