Showing posts with label Kyoto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kyoto. Show all posts


Nishi Shichijo Taue Kyoto


Rice planting ceremony at Nishi Shichijo village

***** Location: Kyoto
***** Season: New Year
***** Category: Observance


Nishi Shichijoo taue shinji
西七条田植神事 (にししちじょうたうえしんじ)
rice planting ceremony at Nishi Shichijo village

At the old village of Shichijoomura in Kadono koori, Kyoto
(Yamashina part of Kyoto)
Kadono-gun · Kyoto-shi Ukyo-ku

A ceremony to invite a good harvest for the coming year.

In the night from the 15th to the 16th of the first lunar month,
two men clad as farmers, wearing simple masks, and one man clad as a woman called "oyase おやせ" walk around the village, from home to home, to perform the movements of rice planting.
The woman wore a round basket with special shime decorations on her head.
korinaki コリナキ
She also wore a special red robe, usually for a wedding ceremony.

This was thought to invoke the plants to grow strong and healthy.

This ritual had been performed until around 1905, when it was abolished.


. WKD : planting rice in the paddies, taue 田植 .

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Nearby is a famous old temple, Engakuji 円覚寺


source : www.kagemarukun






Nishi shichijoo taue shinji no akai bebe

the red robe
of the Nishishichijo
rice planting ritual

Ariyama Takehiko 有山武彦

source : kamomeza

Related words

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

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Seimon Absolving Oath


Absolving of sins (seimonbarai)

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


seimonbarai 誓文払 (せいもんばらい) absolving of lies
..... Ebisugire, Ebisu gire 夷切れ(えびすぎれ)

On the 20th day of the tenth lunar month.
(Some saijiki place this now in early winter).

Prostitutes and merchants of Kyoto go to a special shrine, Kanjaden 官者殿, to pray and get absolved for for all the lies they have been telling their clients in order to maintain their good business.
To attune for their sins, they make very cheap bargain prices and this has formed into the normal bargain sales of kimono shops and later the large department stores.

Later a visit to this small shrine was also done to get absolved for lies in a love relationship, especially for the many geisha of the Gion quarters.
During the visit, the geisha was not allowed to say a word, it was therefore

mugon moode 無言詣 shrine visit without talking.

Ebisugire refers to the fact that it was done on the Day of Ebisu, the Deity of the Merchants.

seimon 誓文 is a written oath.

. Ebisu えびす 恵比寿 .

. Mugon Mode at the Gion Festival .


Kanjaden 官者殿 Kanjaden Shrine Hall
Shijoo Teramachi 四条寺町

It is close to Yasaka Shrine and the Gion quarters in Kyoto and belongs to the Yasaka Shrine group 八坂神社.

Deities in residence

Amaterasu no Omikami 天照大神
Susanoo no Mikoto 素戔嗚尊

. . . and also
Tosa no Boo Shooshun 土佐坊昌俊
Priest Shoshun from Tosa

(1141 - 1185), Shoshun Tosanobo (Shoshin Tosanobo)

永治元年8月15日(1141年9月19日)? -
A priest and military commander of the Heian Period.
The story is related to Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
On his way to Kumano, Tosanobo had come to Horikawa to take the life of Yoshitsune, on behalf of his brother Yoritomo, but Yoshitsune him sign an oath of loyalty to himself on three pieces of paper each instead .

Three written oaths were kept at Hachimangu, one at Kumano Gongen and the third had been burned to ashes. Tosanobo then ate the ashes to convey his sincerity to Yoshitsune.

But Tosanobo was going to attack Yoshitsune anyway in that night.
Yoshitsune's loyal retainer Benkei mistrusted the written oath of Tosanobo and warned his master.

The story then continues with betrayal and revenge . . .

Tosanobo Shoshun, his real name was Shibuya Konnomaru 渋谷金王丸.
source :

source :

洗馬 武蔵坊弁慶・土佐坊昌俊
Benkei and Tosanobo riding (washing) a horse
a pun with seba 背馬→せば=洗馬」

Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川国芳


source :

Yoshitsune makes Tosanobo write an oath

Now kept at Horikawa Gosho in Kyoto 堀川御所.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Yoshitsune: A Fifteenth-Century Japanese Chronicle
google book including the story of Tosa no Bo.
source :


Related words


. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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Kyoto Prefecture


. Regional Festivals - From Hokkaido to Okinawa .


Kyoto Prefecture - 京都(府) 

located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu.
The capital is the city of Kyoto.

. hana no miyako 花の都 "capital of blossoms" .
- kigo from Kyoto

. Kyoto - Entries of this BLOG .


Amanohashidate 天橋立
. Ama no Hashidate Matsuri 天の橋立祭 .

. Kamo Shrine Festivals 賀茂神社 .
下鴨神社 and 上賀茂神社
Busha Shinji (歩射神事, archery ritual)
Kamo keiba 賀茂競馬horse race at Kamo shrine
Aoi Matsuri 葵祭 Aoi Festival - Kamo no matsuri 賀茂祭(かものまつり)
Shimogamo no misogi 下賀茂の御祓 Shimogamo purification rituals
yatori shinji 矢取り神事 Shimogamo Shrine Arrow Ceremony
hatsumari 初鞠 first kick-ball bame
Kamigamo Nentoosai 上賀茂燃燈祭 "Lantern Festival at Kamigamo"
Kamigamo otana kazari 上賀茂御棚飾 shelf decorations at Kamigamo shrine
Karasu-zumo "Crow Sumo (wresling celemony)"烏相撲(からすずもう)

. Kitano natane goku 北野菜種御供 (きたのなたねごく)
ritual for rapeseed blossoms .

..... and
Hatsu Tenjin 初天神 First visit to a Tenjin Shrine
Urajiro renga 裏白連歌 "Linked verse with white backside"
Kitano no fudehajime sai 北野の筆始祭
first use of the brush ceremony at Kitano
Kitano matsuri 北野祭 (きたのまつり) Kitano Festival
shimai Tenjin 終天神 (しまいてんじん) last visit to a Tenjin shrine
Rituals for Sugawara Michizane 菅原道真

. Kushi Matsuri 櫛祭り Kushi Comb Festival .

. mikage matsuri 御蔭祭 "honorable shadow festival" .
mi-aregi 御生木(みあれぎ)
"Lawn Cutting Ceremony", shibakiri shinji
At Kamo Shrine

. Seimei Matsuri 晴明祭 Seimei Festival .
in honor of Abe no Seimei 阿倍晴明 at the Seimei Shrine 清明神社 at the Autumn equinox


. WKD : Kyoto Festivals in April .

External LINKS

Kyoto Visitor's Guide - Monthly Events
source :
- - - - -example- May 2011
Aoi Festival
Kurabe Uma-e Ashizoroe Ceremony
Yabusame Shinji
Saiodai Misogi Purification Ritual
Busha Shinji
Kamo Kurabe Uma
Shinsen-en Kyogen at Shinsen-en Temple
Senbon Enma-do Nenbutsu Kyogen at Senbon Enma-do Temple
Fujinomori Festival at Fujinomori Shrine
Ohara-me Festival in the Ohara Area
Kamogawa Odori at Pontocho Kaburenjo Theatre
Inari Festival at Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine
Nijo Castle Citizen Tea Party at Nijo Castle
Uesaku Festival at Kurama Temple
Mifune Festival in Arashiyama
Saga Festival at Nonomiya Shrine & Atago Shrine
Takigi Noh Night-time Performance at Heian Shrine

source : thismonth

- Reference -

Related words

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan - GANGU . 

. Regional Dishes from Japan - WASHOKU .

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Settling of the soul ritual
(chinkonsai 鎮魂祭)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Early Winter
***** Category: Observance


tama shizume matsuri 鎮魂祭 (たましずめまつり)
festival of the pacification of the souls
ritual to console the spirit of the dead
..... chinkonsai, chinkon sai 鎮魂祭(ちんこんさい)

Performed on the day of the tiger in the eleventh lunar month.
Nowadays one day before the harvest ceremonies (niinamesai).

CLICK for more photos

Namiki Kazuko writes:

"Settling of the soul ritual."
A ritual of the ancient and medieval eras. Also called "mitama furi," "mitama shizume," "ō-mitama furi," "tama shizume no matsuri." According to the Explanations of the Prescriptions (Ryō no gige), the rite is intended to "call back" and "pacify" a soul that is trying to depart from someone’s body.

The state ceremony (in other words the ceremony as codified under the Ritsuryō state) was used to strengthen the spirit-soul of the emperor before he performed the major rituals of Daijō sai and Niiname sai and was to take place on the "day of the lion" (tora) prior to those rites.

First referred to in the "eleventh month, 685" entry of the Chronicles of Japan (Nihon shoki).

Usually the rite was performed within the Imperial Household Ministry (Kunaishō) where a "landing place" (kamiza) for the deity was constructed. The ministers and lesser officials attended bearing the emperor’s clothes, while shrine virgins (mikannagi) and kagura-dancers (sarume) from the Department of Divinities (Jingikan) conducted the ceremony.

This ceremony uses a special type of large vessel known as ukifunetsuki 有卦船, which some say reflects the Ame-no-iwato legend, although contrary theories exist as to its significance. After the end of the Heian period, the buildings for the Department of the Imperial Household no longer existed and the ceremony was held where they once stood. The ritual was abolished in the fifteenth century and then revived in pre-modern times, though it no longer followed its original formula. It has taken place on palace grounds since the Meiji era.
In the ancient and medieval eras, settling of the soul ceremonies were also performed for the junior empresses and crown prince.
source : Kokugakuin University. January 2007


chinkon kishin 鎮魂帰神

Tsushiro Hirofumi writes

The terms chinkon and kishin are found in the classics but use of the four-character phrase became common only after a Shintō-derived new religion, Ōmoto, began to use it. Here, chinkon refers to the procedures for healing and directing spirits; by extension, it also refers to joining a deity's spirit [with a human subject].

Kishin means possession by the spirit of a kami. One type of kishin is abrupt and spontaneous while another is humanly induced through the process of chinkon. Various kinds of possessions are distinguished and finely graded, with spiritual unity between an individual and Ame no minakanushi considered the supreme form of kishin.

source : Kokugakuin University. January 2007

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Nishimura Kazuko
haiku collection
tama shizume

Related words


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Atago Shrines

. 愛宕権現 伝説 Legends about Atago Gongen .

Atago Shrines in Japan

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


Mount Atago Yama 愛宕山 / 阿多古 is a mountain of about 920 meters in the North-West of Kyoto. It is the location of a shrine and temple in this name.
Atago shrine in Kyoto is the most important one.

There are various mountains, shrines and temples of this name in other parts of Japan, many in Western Japan.

The Atago shrine in Itami, Hyogo, is especially related to Haiku.

Atago Gongen (愛宕権現) is a Japanese kami believed to be the local avatar (Gongen) of Buddhist bodhisattva Jizo Bosatsu.
The cult originated in Shugendō practices on Mount Atago in Kyoto, and Atago Gongen is worshiped as a protector against fire.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Jizoo Gongen 地蔵権現 Jizo Gongen .
from Okayama


. 愛宕権現 伝説 Legends about Atago Gongen .


Atago Jinja 愛宕神社  Atago shrines

This one is a Shinto shrine on Mount Atago, Kameoka, to the northwest of Kyoto.
Enshrined is Atago Gongen who protects Kyoto from fire.
Shugendō practices and a place for worship are known from the eighth century.The late-Kamakura period Honden has been designated an Important Cultural Property.

Atago Jinja is the head of nine hundred Atago shrines throughout Japan.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

The mountain is the first to receive the morning sun in Kyoto.


As a shrine dedicated to the deity of fire,
they sell amulets for fire prevention and protection:

hi no yoojin 火迺要慎 "beware of fire"

These amulets are placed in the kitchen and can be found in most homes and kitchens in Kyoto.

The white wild boar 白猪 (shirai, shira-i) is a messenger of the fire deity.
It is celebrated on the forth day of the second month.

More photos and amulets on the Japanese HP of the shrine:
source :


Akechi Mitsuhide 明智光秀

In the year 1582 in May, shortly before his coup against Oda Nobunaga, his retainer Akechi Mitsuhide 明智光秀 spent some time at this shrine. He was with a group composing renku, linked verse. The first poem was by Mitsuhide, the second one by a priest from temple Itokuin, Gyooyuu Hooin 行祐法印, the third by the master renku poet Satomura Jooha 里村紹巴 (1525 - 1602).
There were altogether 9 people, composing 100 verse, called the
100 verses from Atago 愛宕百韻 Atago Hyakuin.
The paper with all the verses was offered to the deities in respect.

Here is the famous first poem by Mitsuhide

toki wa ima ame ga shitashiru satsuki kana

the time is now
rain falls now
in the fifth lunar month

(This can be read as a pun:
土岐は今 天が下治る 皐月かな
Toki is the name of the family of Mitsuhide. The meaning could be
"Toki shall now rule the realm under the sky."

Reference : akechi

. badarai no mitsuhide 馬盥の光秀 .
a famous Kabuki play
- - - badarai, umadarai 馬盥 basin for washing a horse

More about the coup of Mitsuhide at Honnoji
. Wikipedia .


In temple Saikyo-ji 西教寺, there are many tombstones for Akechi Clan people and a monument of a haiku of Matsuo Basho. When Basho stayed in the house of his desciple Yûgen, Basho was well taken care of by Yûgen and by his wife, although Yûgen was very poor and it was very diffucult for him to afford to entertain Basho with descent foods and sake.
Basho recalled the episode of the wife of Akechi Mitsuhide, who sold her hair to buy foods to host a Renga (poetry) party, when they were very poor and were at a loss to entertain people decently with foods.
In gratitude to the kindness of Yûgen's wife, Basho sent the following haiku poem to Yûgen.

月さびよ 明智が妻の咄せむ
tsuki sabiyo Akechi ga tsuma no hanashi sen

Be somber, Moon,
as I will tell you the story
of Akechi's wife

Akechi Mitsuhide ( 1528-1582 ) was a powerful warlord and had a splendid castle that stood in Sakamoto at the foot of Mr. Hiei on the coast of Lake Biwa-ko. He was, however, very poor when he was young.

He attacked his master Oda Nobunaga at the Honnô-ji Temple in 1582, and virtually killed him. He was attacked in return by Hideyoshi. Defeated, and in his way to come back to his, he was killed.

His glorious career ended sadly. The story of Aklechi and his wife in the end was sad and Basho asked the moon to be somber and not be joyfull for the sad story.
source : Sasaki

moon, be lonely -
I want to tell of
Akechi's wife

Tr. Barnhill

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


愛宕神社 Atago shrine in Tokyo
東京都港区愛宕 1-5-3 / Minato ward, Shiba, Atago

It was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603 to prevent fires in the city. The shrine is on a small mountain of only 26 meters hight, but it could overlook most of the new Edo city and thus help prevent fires.
The very steep stairs leading to the shrine are also famous, as they represent success in life.
According to legend,
a young samurai, 曲垣平九郎 Magaki Heikuro, dared to ride his horse up the stairs to deliver plum blossoms to the shogun Iemitsu. It took his horse only one minute to get up, but 45 minutes to get down, and the horse was totally exhausted afterwards. The samurai got a great reward and was promoted to a high rank.
. shusse no ishidan 出世の石段 staircase to a good career .

The main deity is
Homusubi no mikoto 火産霊命 / カグツチ / 軻遇突智 Kagutsuchi Deity of Fire
. . . and
Mizuhanome no mikoto 罔象女命(水の神) Deity of Water
Ooyamazumi no mikoto 大山祇命(山の神) Deity of Mountain
Yamato Takeru 日本武尊(武徳の神)Deity of the Samurai
More in the Wikipedia

. Hagoita 羽子板 Battledore, Shuttlecock .
from Atago Shrine, with the zodiac animal for every year

. Kagutsuchi カグツチ /
軻遇突智 Kagu-tsuchi - "incarnation of fire" .

- Homusubi no Mikoto 火産霊命

芝愛宕山 Shiba Atagoyama

Atagoyama 愛宕山 is a district in Tokyo, Minato ward, Shiba

. Famous Places and Powerspots of Edo 江戸の名所 .

. Kawase Hasui 川瀬巴水 (1883 - 1957) .

haru n Atagoyama 春のあたご山 Atagoyama in the Spring
東京十二題 12 Scenes of Tokyo


Akibagongen 秋葉権現 and Izuna Atago
Since Akiba Gongen is also believed to have originated in the Mt. Izuna and Togakushi area, the two deities are obviously closely related. Since the Buddhist counterpart (honji or "original essence"; see honji suijaku) of Izuna Gongen is said to be the bodhisattva Jizō (Sk. Ksitigarbha), the cult displays a mutual influence with the Atago cult (which involved an amalgamation with Shōgun Jizō or "Jizō of victory").
As a result, the deities are often referred to by the conjoined name Izuna-Atago.

. Izuna Gongen, Iizuna no Gongen 飯網の権現 .

. Amulet to win a battle - Shogun Jizo .


Kankosai 還幸祭 Festival of Welcoming the Gods

Saga Matsuri 嵯峨祭 Shrine Nonomiya Jinja 野宮神社,
Atago Jinja, Kyoto 愛宕神社(京都市右京区)
Fourth Sunday in May

. Naked Festivals of Japan .

Akutai Matsuri "cursing festival"

Kasama Town, Atago Jinja

. Kisai 奇祭 special festivals .


Hatsu Atago 初愛宕 (はつあたご) First visit to Atago
kigo for the New Year

Ceremony at Atago, Atago no shinji
Messenger from Atago, Atago no tsukai
. . . o-koto no tsukai お事の使(おことのつかい)

The details are here:
. Bishamonten and Atago .


Atago no sennichi moode 愛宕の千日詣
1000 days pilgrimage at Atago

kigo for late summer

The official name is
sennichi tsuuyasai 千日通夜祭 "1000 days in one night".
It lasts from the night of July 21 to the early morning of August 8. People who visit during this time will be protected from fire for 1000 days.
The climb up to the mountain shrine is about 4 km long and lit by torches during the night.
Special buses and trains are run during the night to bring all the visitors.

at 9 in the evening of July 31
yuumikesai 夕御饌祭 "dinner for the deities"
the yamabushi make a purifying bonfire (gomataki ゴマ焚き神事)

at 2 in the morning of August 1
asamikesai 朝御饌祭 "breakfast for the deities"
Dance of the head priest, rituals to appease the fire

Look at some more photos from the shrine:
source : sentimairi4.htm

. WKD : Summer Ceremonies .


Atagobi 愛宕火 (あたごび ) "fire at Atago"

kigo for early autumn

This relates to the Atago shrine at Itami.
On the 24th of the seventh lunar month people put up lanterns and lit candles in rituals for the souls of the departed ancestors during O-Bon. Big torches were also carried around and thrown into the fire.
In the region o Setzu (now Hyogo and Northern Osaka) there were many Atago shrines.
At the Atago mountain in Kyoto it was a custom to throw simple clay dishes (kawarake) from the mountain to make a wish come true. The haiku is a combination of the two events.

Thrown from the 25th station on the way up

Atagobi no kawarake-nage ya Itamizaka

and the dish-throwing ritual -
Itami slope

. Ihara Saikaku, Ibara Saikaku 井原西鶴 .

source :

. . . CLICK here for Photos of dish-throwing !

Throwing hooroku plates from temple Mibudera
. Hooroku Jizo ほうろく地蔵 .

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

goma seihai 護摩聖灰 sacred ashes from a Goma fire ritual
. Fukagawa Fudo Do (Fudoo Doo) 深川不動堂 .
Amulets are hung up at the ceiling of the home to prevent fire.

. Musaigai 無災害お守り amulets against fire .

達磨 越谷だるま
. hi no yoojin 火の用心 take care of fire - Daruma .


aki fukaku tomo to noborishi Atagoyama  

autumn deepens -
with a friend I climb up to
Mount Atago

Antoo 安東

. . . . .

枯れ梢 愛宕の山は 下紅葉    
Morikawa 森川

Antoo 安東

Kiyomizu 清水

Tokunaga 徳永

source : kunistok


tonboo no hyakudo mairi ya Atago yama

the dragonfly
on a one-hundred prayers circuit -
Mount Atago

Kubota Toen 久保田兎園
(1722 - 1801)

46 of his haiku are mistakenly attributed to Kobayashi Issa.
source : 久保田兎園 wiki

. Kubota Seifu 久保田成布 .

. "100 prayers circuit" 百度参り hyakudo mairi .

Related words

***** . Fire (kaji 火事) .

***** . Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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. 愛宕権現 伝説 Legends about Atago Gongen .



Heian Matsuri


Heian Festival (Heian matsuri)

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


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 :


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.

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 !


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 .

Worldwide use

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 :

. Japan - Shrines and Temples .


koshiboso no jidai matsuri no yakko kana

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

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

Related words

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



Kifune Shrine Festivals


Kifune Shrine and its festivals

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


Kifune matsuri 貴船祭 (きふねまつり) Kifune festival
... Kifune shinji 貴船神事(きふねしんじ)Kifune Shinto ritual
gokoosai 御更祭(ごこうさい)"changing the robes of the deity"
itadori matsuri 虎杖祭(いたどりまつり "knotweed festival"
kigo for mid-summer

Kifune, sometimes read Kibune (きぶね).

June 1
The most important yearly festival at Kifune Shrine 貴船神社 in the Kurama mountain region.
Its official name is gokoosai 御更祭.
It used to be held twice a year, on the first day of the fourth and eleventh lunar month.
Kibune shrine belongs to the Kamo Shrines of Kyoto (sessha 摂社).

In the forests around the shrine there grow a lot of itadori, Japanese knotweed.
People pick this plant and compare its length.

. WKD : itadori いたどり Japanese knotweed
Polygonum cuspidatum, looks like a kind of rhubarb.

Kibune matsuri
Formerly this festival was held on the first day of the fourth and eleventh months at Kibune Jinja in Sakyō Ward, Kyōto City, Kyōto Prefecture.
Prior to the Meiji Period, when this shrine had an auxiliary shrine relationship to Kamowakeikazuchi Jinja (also known as Kamikamo Jinja, Upper Kamo Shrine), the festival was observed on a grand scale. In the past, on the day before the festival there used to be a kitchen knife ceremony, and shinsen (sacred offerings) were placed in a chest (karabitsu).
Then, together with birds (kakedori), people presented these to the kami on the day of the ceremony.
After the ritual offering (hōbei) of nusa (sacred paper strips/streamers) and the intoning of norito (prayers) by the shinshoku (priests) they visited the branch and hilltop shrines and performed hōbei, then returned wearing flowers taken from the mountain peak in their hair.

At the midpoint in route between the Kibune and Upper Kamo Shrines a designated person chanted a secret song to which the other priests responded in a repetitive manner. Formerly, during the fourth month festival worshippers used to collect the Japanese knotweed that grew profusely on the mountain near the shrine in a competition for size and amount, thus leading to the popular name itadori matsuri ("Knotweed Festival"). Vestiges of this ancient festival remain in the annual shin'yo (portable shrine) processional held on June 1, and in the festivals for the changing of the kami's robes (gokōisai) held on April 1 and November 1.
source : Mogi Sakae, Kokugakuin Uni


Kibune Shrine (貴船神社, Kibune Jinja),
also known as Kifune Jinja, is a Shinto shrine located at Sakyō-ku in Kyoto, Japan.
It was founded more than 1600 years ago.
Legend tells us that the goddess Tamayori-hime appeared on a yellow boat in Osaka Bay and said, "Build a sanctuary at the place where this boat stops and deify the spirit of the locality, and the country will prosper." The boat floated up the rivers of Yodogawa to the river Kamogawa, stopping at the beginning of the stream.
The deities enshrined here are Takaokami-no-Kami and Kuraokami-no-Kami. They are the gods of water, and people pray to them for rain during times of drought, and to stop the rain during floods.
One emperor offered a black horse in a drought, and a white horse during a prolonged spell of rain. This is why people now offer up votive plates with the image of a horse.
The shrine became the object of Imperial patronage during the early Heian period.In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered that Imperial messengers were sent to report important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines including the Kibune Shrine.

From 1871 through 1946, the Kibune Shrine was officially designated one of the Kanpei-chūsha (官幣中社), meaning that it stood in the second rank of government supported shrines.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


. Kuraokami, Takaokami 高おかみ神 , Kuramitsuha .
Deity of Rain

Amulets from Kibune Jinja

chinowa omamori ちのわ守り for summer purification

龍神札 Dragon God amulet

. The Dragon Art Gallery - 2012 .

御神水せっけん soap from sacred water
清砂 purifying sand
kajitori 梶取守

何事もうまくいく絵馬 - may everything go well - amulet

all kinds of ema votive tablets and more
source :

tsuri yuki anzen 釣行安全 safety when fishing
ruaa mamori ルアー守 luer amulet
. Amulet for fishing from Kibune Shrine .

. Summer Purification (nagoshi, harae) .

むすび守袋型 Musubi bag form
むすび守文型 Musubi letter form

. Enmusubi 縁結び to find a good partner .

clay bell of the yellow boat of Tamayori-Hime

A play of words with the name of the shrine, 黄船 "yellow boat".

. Kyoto no dorei 京都の土鈴 clay bells from Kyoto .


Suzuka Valley and Waterfall, 鈴鹿谷
The Main Shrine, 貴船神社本宮
The Rock Garden, 石庭

Page with many thumbnails of the places within the precincts.

. . .

Kibune Jinja / Kifune Homepage


. . . . . every month:
tsukinamisai 月次祭 monthly festival
hatsu tatsusai 初辰祭 festival on the first day of the dragon
masshasai 末社祭 festival of the subordinate shrine

. . . . . Saijiki Events:
hatsu tatsu taisai 初辰大祭
. Grand Festival on the first day of the dragon in January
tondo とんど Tondo fire, January 15
amagoi matsuri 雨乞祭 Rain Ritual, March 9
Kifune matsuri 貴船祭 Grand Festival, June 1
Minazuki no oharae 水無月大祓
. Great Purification ritual in June, June 30
Kifune no mizu matsuri 貴船の水まつり
. Water Festival, July 7
Kikka shinji 菊花神事
. Chrysanthemum ritual, Spetember 9
Meiji sai 明治祭 Meiji festival, November 3
Kifune momiji matsuri 貴船もみじ祭
. celebrating red leaves, November 7

. . . . .

In Kyoto, Kibune Shrine deifies Takaokami-no-kami, who is worshiped as a rain god. It is described in the Shoku-nihongi, the Nihon-koki, the Shoku-nihon-koki , the Montoku-tenno Jitsuroku, and the Sandai Jitsuroku that from 765, the seventh year of Tempyohoji, people prayed almost every year to Niu-Kawakami and Kibune for rain. They are said to have offered a black horse when they wanted the rains to start and a white horse when they wanted the rains to end because it was believed that the spirit of the gods descend to earth on a horse. Black is the color for casting a rain spell as it symbolizes dark clouds bringing rain. In contrast, white is the symbol of the bright sun.
These prayers were held as national events.
Sacred Water in Japan
Iwai Hiromi

The Sacred Water 御神水 goshinsui
Even Murasaki Shikibu was aware of the powers of the water at Kibune Shrine. She came here to pray for the love of her husband, and her prayer was granted. Now the shrine is also worshipped by lovers, praying to the "god of good marriage". Workers also pray for a good relationship with their employers.

Even special soap is sold at the shrine.


Oku no Miya 奥の宮

In the compounds, at the back of Kibune shrine, there is one of the three sacred

ryuuketsu 龍穴 dragon holes

This dragon hole inhabited by a white dragon, who brings prosperity to those who worship him.
It is a great "power spot" of Japan.

Once a carpenter lost his chisle, as it fell into the hole.
But to his surprize, a strong wind blew out of the whole and his chisle fell back on the ground in front of his feet.

Shrine Muro Ryuketsu Jinja 室生竜穴神社
. The Dragon Art Gallery – 2012 .


Water festivel in Kifune
(貴船の水まつり) Kifune no mizu matsuri

at Kifune Shrine, July 7

The origin of this festival is rain-making rituals.
Now is more like for showing our gratitude to water.

The festival consists of offering tea ceremony, dancing and cooking ceremony in front of the Gods. Tea cremony, of course, cannot be done without water, so it's the symbolic ceremony of this festival. And the cooking ceremony is offered by the special cooking school called Ikuma school.

Ancestors of the Ikuma school used to be cookers for the Imperial family. It is said that the current master is 29th-generation of the family.

At the ceremony, he cooks a fish in front of the god without touching it by his hands at all. (The fish is altarage for Gods, so it shouldn't be touched by men.)
source :


. Amagoi Matsuri 雨乞祭 Rain Ritual
March 9
Horses offered to the gods in rain rituals.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Kifune Festival held in Manazuru-cho,
真鶴 貴船まつり

Ashigara-shimo-gun, Kanagawa pref. is counted as one of Japan’s three largest marine festivals and a designated National Significant Intangible Folk Cultural Asset. The origin of the festival is dated back to the middle of the 17th century, when people began to put Mikoshi (portable shrine) on a ship to pray for purification of fishing boats and stone carrying boats in the harbor and then carried it around the village.

This old, traditional and pious festival is held on July 27th to 28th, filling the whole town of Manazuru with air of excitement. As the festival is composed of a lot of exciting spectacles such as the colorfully carved Kobaya-bune boat, Manazuru-bayashi (traditional band playing music) lively cheering up the town, reverent Kashima-odori dance, and flower floats and Kaidenma (the towing boat) for which masculine strength is fully expressed, a lot of tourists from all over the country visit the town of Manazuru.
On these two days, the citizens of Manazuru all pull together to make this festival a great success.
source :


CLICK for more photos

shinryoku ya hito no sukunaki Kifune mura

fresh green -
there are few people
in Kifune village

Hatano Soha (Sooha) 波多野爽波 (1923-1991)
source :

Related words

***** . 貴船神社 Kibune Shrine, Buzen Kagura
Iwado Kagura of Buzen, 岩戸神楽 in Kyushu
Autumn, O-Bon

***** . Kibunegiku 貴船菊 (きぶねぎく) wild aster from Kibune
shuumeigiku 秋明菊(しゅうめいぎく) "bright autumn chrysanthemum"
Anemone japonica
kigo for mid-autumn

***** . kawadoko ryoori 川床料理
food served on a riverbed veranda  

In Kyoto, near shrine Kibune Jinja 貴船神社 served in the forest restaurants along the clean river.
kawayuka 川床(かわゆか)riverbed veranda

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Mifune Festival


Mifune festival (Mifune matsuri)

***** Location: Kyoto, Japan
***** Season: Early Summer
***** Category: Observance


Mifune matsuri 三船祭 (みふねまつり) Mifune festival
lit. "three boats festival"
... shuuyuusai 舟遊祭(しゅうゆうさい)boat ride festival
funaasobi matsuri

ooginagashi 扇流し(おうぎながし)floating handfans
Nishi matsuri 西祭(にしまつり) "Festival on the West" (of Kyoto)

Third sunday in May.
(It used to be the 18th of May).
At the shrine Kurumazaki jinja 車折神社,
along the river Oigawa 大堰川(おおいがわ).

CLICK for more photos

The deity of the shrine is known to grant good luck in business, so many people come here to pray. There is even a "shrine of the arts" in the compound
"Geinoo jinja" 芸能神社
. . . CLICK here for Photos of the shrine !

On the festival day, the deity is put on a boat and entertained with song and dance during a river tour with three festive boats with dragon heads 竜舟鷁首 (りゅうとうげきしゅ).
CLICK for more photos

Other accompanying boats hoast exhibitions of art, haiku meetings, poetry meetings, song and dance performances and more.

CLICK for more photos
The floating of handfans at the Rankyo gorge 嵐峡 is especially graceful.

This festival has a different flavor from those in Southern Kyoto, hence the name "Festival in the West".


Mifune Matsuri
The scene of an ancient boat party on a river is reproduced by some 20 boats in the town of Kyoto, City:Asahi-cho, Saga, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City

The scene of a boat party on a river from 1,000 years ago is reproduced by some 20 boats on the Oigawa River flowing through Arashiyama in Kyoto. Every year, 100,000 tourists come to view this graceful spectacle. This is an event organized by the Kurumazaki Shrine standing close to the river, and originates in a ceremony that was held upon receiving the Emperor on his visit to this land.

After a ritual held at the shrine at noon, people dressed in ancient costumes proceed along the beautiful Togetsukyo Bridge and board the boats. Their costumes are very colorful, and you will also see cute little children who are dressed in kimono, too. Also interesting are the boats which have dragon heads or birds' heads designed on the prow.
Each boat has its assigned role, for example, there is a boat carrying musicians who play music, while dance performances are given on another boat, or poetry is recited on a different boat. Sensu fans of all colors are floated on the water surface by ladies dressed in 12 layers of kimono known as juni-hitoe, producing a most exquisite and graceful spectacle.

Kurumazaki Shrine is also well-known for its patron deity of the performing arts. It is therefore visited by many famous stars who come here to offer prayers so that they can give better stage performances or rise in popularity. If you wish to sing or dance better, it might be a good idea to pay a visit to this shrine.
source :

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


misao tsuku shirahari oikeri Mifune sai

the old boatsman
pushes with the long rod -
Mifune festival

. WKD Awano Seiho 阿波野青畝

source : haiku/seiho

Related words

***** ***** . Fan (oogi 扇 - uchiwa 団扇) .

***** . Fans from Marugame .

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