Showing posts with label Niigata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Niigata. Show all posts


Iwafune festival Niigata


Iwafune Taisai 岩船大祭 Great Festival at Iwafune

***** Location: Niigata
***** Season: October
***** Category: Observance


- quote -
Iwafune Festival is held in order to pray for safety at sea, a bountiful catch and for good business. It is a dynamic festival befitting to the fishery town of Iwafune in Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture. It is designated as a prefecture’s intangible Cultural property.

The festival starts with the beats of Saki-daiko (the leading drum) at midnight on October 19. Then Saki-daiko goes around the route of the parade three times in the early morning to purify the way of the god’s excursion.

The shrine deity is loaded onto the magnificent vermillion multi-lacquered Ofune-sama (boat) at the shrine gate and carried to the Otorii Gate accompanied by Mikoshi, Tamayari and the float carrying a sacred horse. When the parade gets to the torii gate, Ofune-sama is loaded onto “Ofune-yatai (the Ship float),” which is joined by eight other floats called “Shagiri.”

Then the parade led by Ofune-sama Shagiri goes through the town accompanied by ohayashi festival music and the festival folksong, “Kiyari-bushi.” The Shagiri parade continues until late at night when the deity of the shrine finally carried onto the back mountain behind the shrine. The round voices of Kiyari-bushi singers echo through the town filled with autumn colors.
- source : -

Iwafune Jinja 岩舟神社 Shrine Iwafune
新潟県村上市岩船三日市 / Iwafune mikkaichi, Murakami-shi



A traditional ceremony is held in Iwafune Shrine as a part of this festival. After this, the Oshagiri Yatai floats decorated with Tsuishu and Tsuikoku (kinds of lacquer) are carried around the town. The parade is led by the Ohunesama (boat) on the Dashi float, a common feature of a port town.
- reference source : -

Sarutahiko 猿田彦 is part of the parade.

. Sarutahiko no Ookami 猿田彦大神
the Great Deity Sarutahiko .

Sarutahiko is the ancestor of the Tengu.

Related words


. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

BACK : Top of this Saijiki

- #iwafune #niigata -


Hakusan Festivals


Hakusan Shrine Festivals

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


There are many Hakusan shrines 白山神社 in Japan.
see below about Hakusan belief.

Shirayama Hongu Shrine 白山本宮
(Hakusan Hongu Shrine
or Hakusan-ji Temple 白山寺)
Shirayama Hime Jinja 白山比咩神社(しらやまひめじんじゃ)
located on Mt. Gozenpo 御前峰
headquarter of over 2000 branch shrines and temples.

. Hakusan Shrine in Tokyo .


Nagataki Hakusan Jinja muikasai 長滝白山神社六日祭
Festival on the 6th day at Nagataki Hakusan Shrine

source :

hana ubai matsrui 花奪い祭
"festival of taking blossoms by force"

People try to get a paper blossom from the decoration hung up at the ceiling.
It will bring good luck and fortune for the coming year.
The paper blossoms are cherry, chrysanthemum, camellia, peonies and poppies.

The famous dance 長滝の延年の舞 is performed.
This festival is an important folk cultural asset.

NagatakiJinja 長滝神社

The shrine is located in Gifu, Gujo Town, Hakucho village.

This shrine is one of the most important Hakusan shrines in Japan, best known for its Hakusan Mandala.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Since Meiji, the shrine and temple have been separated
Hakusan Chuuguu Chooryuuji 白山中宮長滝寺
Temple Hakusan Chugu Choryu-Ji


Another important festival of this shrine is held on May 5
dededen matsuri でででん祭り DedeDen festival
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Famous for its drums, which make the sound DEDEDE . . .


Nonomiya matsuri (No no Miya)箟宮祭 (ののみやまつり)
Nonomiya festival

Nonotake Hakusan matsuri
Mount Nonotake Hakusan Festival

At the temple Koopooji 箟峯寺 Kopo-Ji in Wakuyacho village, Northern Miyagi
Fourth Sunday of January.

An arrow-shooting ritual.
Two children clad in ancient robes and hats have to shoot12 arrows in exchange with a priest.
Depending on the hits, the weather and a good or bad harvest of the year can be forecast.

At the Kannon Hall 観音堂 of the temple
Hakusan Shinji 白山神事 Hakusan ritual

This is one of the oldest rituals in Japan, involving the Hakusan belief of mountain worship.

The region is famous for ancient findings of gold mines.


Shrine Hakusan Jinja 白山神社
Hakusan shinkoo白山信仰 Hakusan belief

First an animistic belief, now featured by Tendai Esoteric Buddhism.


Hakusan Shinkō
Hakusan is the collective name given to the three mountains Gozenpō, Ōnanjimine, and Bessan located at the intersection of the regions Kaga, Echizen, and Mino.
Hakusan shinkō is the faith based on the deification of these mountains.

Local farmers believed that Hakusan was a mountain inhabited by "water kami" (suijin), dragon kami (ryūjin), and the spirits of the dead.
Fishermen of the Japan Sea worshipped Hakusan as a kami of fishing and seafaring.

The Jinmyōchō section of the Engishiki records a "Shirayamahime Jinja" in Ishikawagun, Kaga (Tsurugimachi, Ishikawa Prefecture), but after the medieval period when "kami and Buddha syncretism" (shinbutsu shūgū) developed, it became customary to read "shirayama" as "hakusan" (both are readings of the characters 白山).

There are various theories as to the preponderance of Hakusan shrines (jinja or gongen) in eastern Japan in areas where outcastes (hisabetsu) live, but the reason for this are unknown. There have been various "enshrined kami" (saijin) claimed for the shrine, but currently Kukurihime no kami (i.e. Shirayamahime no ōkami) is the main kami worshipped alongside Izanagi no kami and Izanami no kami.

Kukurihime no kami 菊理姫命 is worshipped at the shrine okumiya on Mount Gozenpō, Ōnamuchi no kami is enshrined at Ōnanji Jinja on Mount Ōnanjimine, and Ōyamatsumi no kami is worshipped at Bessan Jinja on Mount Bessan.

The Shirayama no ki, however, states that the indigenous "land master kami" (jinushigami) gave his land to Hakusan Gongen, and moved to Mount Bessan. This story is thought to reflect the expanded power of people who worshipped the newly Buddhist-styled Hakusan Gongen.
Hakusan was a "mountain where the kami abides" (shintaisan) (which was taboo to ascend), but along with the development of Shugendō people began to ascend the mountain. Legend claims that the "mountain was opened" (kaisan) by Taichō Shōnin at the beginning of the Nara Period, but his name does not appear in sources from that era. However, his name does appear in such Heian Period documents as the Taichō kashō denki and the Shirayama no ki, and therefore we can surmise that there were already people climbing the mountain for worship in the Heian Period.

The Shirayama no ki was copied 1439 but the original manuscript is believed to date back to the Heian Period. According to this text, Mount Gozenpō, where Kukurihime no kami is enshrined, was referred to by the name Zenjō (meditation), the kami was called Hakusan Myōri Daibosatsu, the "original Buddhist deity" (honjibutu) of Kukurihime no kami was the Eleven-faced Kannon (Ekadasamukha Avalokitesvara), Ōnamuchi no kami was the Buddha Amida (Amitābha), and Ōyamatsumi no kami was Shō Kannon (Ārya-Avalokitesvara). The text also records the legend that if one drinks water from the lake Midorigaike, where Hakusan Myōri Daibosatsu was supposedly born, one would achieve the "merit" (riyaku) of an extended, long life.

Documents place the site of Shirayamahime Jinja in Kaga, but there were three routes for climbing the mountain, from Hakusan Kagababa, Hakusan Echizenbaba, and Hakusan Minobaba, indicating that pilgrimages could start from each of the three regions that the mountain straddles. The mountain pilgrimage route is called a zenjōdō (path of meditation), the entrances to the mountain trails are called baba, and there were also places to worship from a distance.

Along the pilgrimage route are shrines called Hakusan Shichisha (the Seven Shrines of Hakusan). Women were permitted pilgrimage as far as the center shrine (Chūgū). We can imagine that many people made pilgrimages to the shrine as a result of the use of such materials as the Shirayama no ki and Hakusan sankei mandala paintings for preaching about the merits of Hakusan. Lodging facilities were established at the baba sites to accommodate pilgrims, and a system of Hakusan "associations" (kō) developed, in part due to the activities of oshi.
Thus the cult of Hakusan spread.
source : Nogami Takahiro, Kokugakuin, 2007


Mark Schumacher has all the details:

HAKUSAN 白山 (lit. white mountain)
is the collective name for a number of sacred Japanese mountains that converge along the borders of four prefectures (Ishigawa, Fukui, Gifu, and Toyama) in northwest Honshū island. From early on, Hakusan was known as a "mountain realm inhabited by kami" (shintaisan 神体山). The character "shin" 神 is also read "kami," which means Shintō deity. The mountains were once taboo to climb, but with the subsequent growth of Japan's Shugendō cult of ascetic mountain practice, Hakusan became a popular site of worship, meditation, pilgrimage, and ascetic training.The deification and worship of Hakusan's mountain kami is known as
Hakusan Shinkō 白山信仰 (lit. = Hakusan faith),
and today 2000+ nationwide Shirayama Jinja Shrines 白山神社 (also read Hakusan Shrines) are devoted to this faith.
The characters for Hakusan are also read "Shirayama."

Hakusan is undeniably one of Japan's most important and ancient sites of religious mountain worship (sangaku shūkyō 山岳宗). The Hakusan mountains are celebrated in the Man'yōshū 万葉集 (Japan's oldest anthology of verse compiled in the 8th century). Over the centuries, Hakusan became a stronghold of Shintō-Buddhist syncretism, a major pilgrimage site, a center of ascetic practice for the Shugendō 修験道 cult of mountain worship, and the focus of artwork known as the Hakusan Mandala. Today Hakusan is considered one of Japan's three most sacred mountain sites (Nihon Sanreizan 三霊山 or Nihon Sanmeisan 三名山).
The other two are Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama.

Sacred Hakusan Mountains

Gozenpō 御前峰
Ōnanjimine 大汝峰
Bessan 別山
Kengamine 剣ヶ峰
Ōkurayama 大倉山
Sannomine 三ノ峰

Hakusan Pilgrimage

Hakusan Deities

Shirayamahime no Kami 白山比売
(aka Kukurihime no Kami 菊理媛神 aka
Hakusan Myōri Daibosatsu 白山妙理大菩薩)

Kukurihime no Kami 菊理媛神

Hakusan Myōri Gongen 白山妙理権現
Izanagi no Mikoto (伊邪那岐命 or 伊奘諾尊 or 伊耶那岐命) and
Izanami no Mikoto (伊邪那美命 or 伊奘冉尊 or 伊耶那美命).

Ōnamuchi no Kami 大穴牟遅神 (or 大己貴神)
Ōyamatsumi no Kami 大山津見神 (or 大山祇)

Hakusan Shichi Gongen 白山七権現
Hakusan Sansho Gongen 白山三所権現

Betsuzan Daigyōji 別山大行事

7 important Hakusan Shrines

Hakusan Mandala 白山曼荼羅
At Nagataki Hakusan

source : - Mark Schumacher

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Hata Uji to Hakusan Jinja 秦氏と白山神社の関係
. The Hata Clan 秦氏 Hata Uji .
and the Korean and Christian connection

Taichoo 泰澄 (682 - 767) Shugendo priest
He was the second son of the samurai family of Mikami no yasuzumi 三神安角(みかみのやすずみ)and became a monk at age 14.
In 117年 he climbed mount Hakusan in Echizen province and became a "super Bosatsu"
myoori daibosatsu 妙理大菩薩.

In 717, the great Buddhist monk and teacher, Taicho Daishi, guided by a woodcutter Gongoro Sasakiri, climbed high up Mount Hakusan, an isolated sacred mountain, in order to meditate.
One night, while Taicho was sleeping after beginning his rigorous regime of spiritual exercises, the guardian deity of Mount Hakusan appeared to him in a dream and said:
‘Lying about twenty-three kilometers from the foot of the mountain is a village called Awazu. There you will find an underground spring of hot water with wondrous, curative powers, which have been bestowed upon it by Yakushi Nyorai, the Divine Healer. However, the villagers are unaware of this blessing. Go down from the mountain and go to Awazu. With the people of the village, unearth the hot spring and it will serve them forever.’”
- - - - - - quote - divinehumanity - - - - -

. Hakusanboo 白山坊 Hakusan-Bo, Hakusanbo .
Taichō 泰澄上人 Saint Taicho Shonin / Taicho-Daishi 泰澄大師


.Hakusan Guu 白山宮足王社 Hakusan shrine and
Ashioo Sha 足王社and Ashi-O Shrine "for the deity of strong legs" .

愛知県日進市本郷町宮下519番地 - Aichi, Nisshin town


The various Hakusan shrines are often visited by haiku groups.


Nou Hakusan Jinja 能生白山神社

This Hakusan shrine in itoigawa, Niigata was visited by
Matsuo Basho
and there is now a stone memorial.

新潟県:西頸城郡/能生町 Nou-Machi

akebono ya kiri ni uzumaku kane no koe

morning light -
the sound of the temple bell
swirls in the autumn fog

Matsuo Basho, 1689, July 11

Shioji no kane 汐路の鐘, 越後能生社汐路の名鐘
"The bell for ebb and flood"
Legend knows that this bell made a sound when the tide was coming up, so that the villagers know it and the children can take care on the beach.
The original bell was lost in a fire, but later replaced from the leftovers of bronze that could be found.
It is 107 cm high and has a diameter of 68 cm.
From the inscription of the bell it is known that it belonged to
Hakusan Gongen temple Taihei-Ji
It was made in 1499.
Now it is at Itoigawa 糸魚川市大字能生7239(白山神社).

When Yoshitsune fled to the North of Japan around 1185, the village had about 7 homes of fishermen.
Basho wrote a few haiku at the village, while he stayed with Tamaya Goroemon 玉や五郎兵衛.

source :

Discussion of the haiku by
- Larry Bole -

The voice of the bell
Eddies through the mist,
In the morning twilight.

--Basho, trans. Blyth

Blyth comments:
"The sound of the bell has taken to it the form of the mist, lingering here, hurrying there, trailing and swirling through the damp air.
Compare Onitsura's verse, Vol. II, page 91."

tookitaru kane no ayumi ya harugasumi

The bell from far away,--
How it moves along in its coming
Through the spring haze!

Onitsura, trans. Blyth


. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .

hakusan no yuki kira-kira to atsusa kana

in this heat
snow on Mt. Hakusan
shining, shining

Tr. Chris Drake

This summer hokku is from early in the 6th month (July) of 1819, the year Issa evokes in My Year (Oraga haru), soon before Issa's beloved baby daughter died on 6/21. In 1824 Issa wrote another version in which he uses teka-teka to, 'shining, glistening, lustrous' instead of kira-kira to.

Mount Hakusan (2,702 m, 8,865 ft.) is the highest mountain to the southwest of Issa's hometown area, and he is apparently able to see the long, high ridge that forms its peak in the distance. The mountain may get its name ("White Mountain") from the snow that remains even in the summer. Along with Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama, Mt. Hakusan was in Issa's time one of the three most sacred mountains in Japan, and Yamabushi mountain monks spread belief in the deity of the mountain, a female god named Shirayama-hime no Kami, around Japan. Even today there are more than 2,700 shrines around Japan devoted to worshiping the mountain, which is believed to be the body of Shirayama-hime, who is accompanied there by the two primal parent deities in Japanese mythology, Izanami and Izanaki (also called Izanagi).

In Issa's time both Shinto believers and Buddhists (often the same people) made pilgrimages to the mountain, and Buddhists believed the female mountain deity was a manifestation of the androgynous bodhisattva Kannon. The Zen master Dogen saw the Hakusan deity in a vision once, and he prayed to her as the shamanic protector of Eiheiji, the large Soto Zen temple he founded. The mountain was also revered by the haikai poet Chiyojo, who, as Issa surely knew, was born not far from Mt. Hakusan. In the present hokku Mt. Hakusan, with its snow shining brightly in the strong summer sun, is not simply a physical mountain but a luminous visionary presence, and in spite of the summer heat its coolness comes across the distances and makes Issa feel cooler.

This hokku is worth reading out loud in Japanese just to hear the sound. The play of a, i, and u vowels and the repetition of k- in the sequence is striking and adds to the sensation of brightness.

Here is a photo of Mt. Hakusan in summer:

Chris Drake

Related words

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

. Hakusan Shrines in the WKD .
Shirayama jinja, Hakusan jinja 白山神社

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

BACK : Top of this Saijiki



Niigata Prefecture


. Regional Festivals - From Hokkaido to Okinawa .


Niigata Prefecture - 新潟県

a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Honshū on the coast of the Sea of Japan.
The capital is the city of Niigata.
The name "Niigata" literally means "new lagoon".
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Niigata - Entries of this BLOG .


. Yahiko tooroo matsuri 弥彦燈籠祭 (やひことうろうまつり)
Yahiko lantern festival .

Yahiko shrine 弥彦神社


External LINKS :

Yahiko - the Four Seasons

- Reference -

Related words

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan - GANGU . 

. Regional Dishes from Japan - WASHOKU .

BACK : Top of this Saijiki



Ondeko Drummers Sado

. Sadogashima 佐渡島 Sado Island - Introduction .

Sado Province 佐渡国 - see below


Demon's Drums (ondeko)

***** Location: Sado Island
***** Season: Mid-Summer
***** Category: Observance


ondeko 鬼太鼓 (おんでこ) Demon's Drums
... onidaiko, oni daiko 鬼太鼓(おにだいこ)

June 25
(Nowadays it is also held on April 13 - 15.

Main festival at the temple Kanmeiji 管明寺 in Sado.

CLICK for more photos

Drummers clad as black and white demons with lion masks perform dramatic drum percussions.

The temple is famous for its two large statues of Fudo Myo-O.

source : Kanmei-Ji Homepage
新潟県佐渡市上新穂659番地 TEL 0259-22-2257


A Brief History of the Ondeko (Demon Drum Dance)
of Sado Island, Japan

In spite of the fame and popularity of the traditional performing art of Sado Island known as Oni-daiko (also called Ondeko, the demon drum dance) relatively little is known about its origins.

One story is that in the year 877, during the reign of Emperor Yozei, a Buddhist monk's dance was introduced to the Noto peninsula near Sado Island from China. Another version has it that it originated from the Tang Lion's Dance - also from China - in the 8th Century. It gradually transformed into the Demon Drum Dance as it made its way to Sado.

Today there are about 110 Oni-daiko groups on Sado, classified into 3 genres.
The Aikawa type (northern) includes the dance of an old man called mamemaki who scatters beans for good luck from a wooden measuring box. In the Kuninaka (central) variety, there are black and white demons (oni) dancing with 2 lions, and in the Maehama (southern) style, 2 demons dance together to the accompaniment of flute and drum. There are many variations in the dancing styles, but all have in common masked demons dancing to drums.

Funashimo Onidaiko 佐渡舟下鬼太鼓

Sometime between 1716 and 1735 Kiyofusa Ukyo Homma arranged the choreography of a Noh dance into a demon drum dance. At the Katagami Ushio shrine he encouraged the local residents to take part. These are the roots of Fanashimo Ondeko. In the late 1850's Rokusuke Sekiguchi - feeling the dancing style had degenerated - went to Kyoto to study traditional court dance and after teaching 3 generations of pupils, the Katagami style of Ondeko evolved. The Kuninaka style is based on this and it spread throughout the central plain of Sado over the next 60 years or so. In the Taisho period (1912-1925) a talented native of Funashimo embellished the dance, bringing it close to how we know it today. Funashimo Onidaiko is also called the 'Shishi Oni Daiko' because both shishi (lions) and oni (demons) appear.

Every year on April 13,
on the day of the Hiyoshi Shrine festival
Hiyoshi Jinja 日吉神社
the troupe move from door to door in the hamlet driving off evil spirits and praying for an abundant harvest. At night they perform one last dance to the gods of the Hiyoshi Shrine in Niibo, after which a portable shrine (mikoshi) leaves the sacred compound to travel through the village to offer protection. The children of the village strike up a band called the Sagariha.

The Funashimo Ondeko group is made up of two people to carry the drum decorated in bamboo leaves and paper lanterns, three rhythm drummers, a male and female demon, and two lions played by two people each. The fearsome demon masks may have originated in Noh theatre or other classical performing arts, but have evolved into their own unique style which vary from troupe to troupe in colour and design. There is a variety of drumbeats played throughout the dance: toyose (stirring), michibiki (guiding), uchikomi (striking), uchikiri (closing), kurebachi ('kure' sticks), hayabachi (fast sticks) and modori taiko (returning drum). Revellers love watching and listening to the variation in drumming styles between the violence when the male demon dances and the softer touch for the female dance.

The Ondeko set begins with the toyose. The demon enters dancing and gradually approaches the drum. When the beat changes to hayabachi the dance becomes wilder. Two lions then emerge and attack the demon, trying to keep him or her from the drum. While fighting off the lions the demon struggles to reach the drum. The degree of skill and dramatic flare with which this heroic struggle is portrayed separates the great dancer from the good.

According to the elders of Funashimo, the Ondeko was formerly only performed on the official festival day. In 1924 however, an exception was made when it was performed at the reception of a group of luminaries including musicologist Hisao Tanabe, poet and novelist Keigetsu Omachi and Prince Kuninomiya After the performance Mr. Tanabe was so enthused he helped spread the word. On April 15th, at the 5th Annual National Folk Performance Contest, Funashimo Onidaiko performed at the Nihon Seinen Kaikan in Tokyo and since that date the demons have been allowed to perform in public on days other than the festival.

It has been 18 years since the the official name of the group was changed from The Young Men's Association, to The Preservation Group. In spite of the keen interest in and support for the group, it hasn't been easy to preserve this and other folk groups in the face of the radical change Japan has known since the war. This is an on-going effort kindled by the passion of each new young generation under the guiding hand of those who have gone before.
source :

. . . . .

Thanks to the support of many friends, the Kodo Cultural Foundation was established in 1997 in order to increase the range of activities Kodo could engage in on their home of Sado Island.

source : Kodo

Ondekoza 鬼太鼓座


Sado Province (佐渡国, Sado-koku)
was a province of Japan until 1871; since then, it has been a part of Niigata Prefecture. It lies on the eponymous Sado Island, off the coast of Niigata Prefecture (or in the past, Echigo Province).

Sado was famous for mine silver and gold there. In the Kamakura Period, the province was granted to the Honma clan from Honshū, and they continued to dominate Sado until 1589, when Uesugi Kagekatsu of Echigo Province took over the island. The Tokugawa shoguns later made Sado a personal fief after Sekigahara, and assumed direct control of its mines.

Since 2004 Sado city has comprised the entire island.

Exile in Sado - 流人 an exiled person
When direct control from mainland Japan started around the 8th century, the island's remoteness meant that it soon became a place of banishment for difficult or inconvenient Japanese figures. Exile to remote locations such as Sado was a very serious punishment, second only to the death penalty, and people were not expected to return.

The earliest known dissident to be condemned to exile on Sadogashima was a poet, Hozumi no Asomi Oyu (穂積朝臣老). He was sent to the island in 722, reportedly for having criticized the Emperor.

The former Emperor Juntoku was sent to Sado after his role in the Jōkyū War of 1221. The disgraced Emperor survived twenty years on the island before his death; and because he was sent to Sado, this emperor is known posthumously as Sado-no-in (佐渡院). He is buried in the Mano Goryo mausoleum on the west coast.

The Buddhist monk Nichiren Daishonin was sent to Sado for three years before his 1274 pardon.
The Noh dramatist Zeami Motokiyo was exiled on unspecified charges in 1434.
The last banishment in Sado took place in 1700, almost a millennium after the first.

Gold mine
Sado experienced a sudden economic boom during the Edo era when gold was found in 1601 at Aikawa (相川). A major source of revenue for the Tokugawa shogunate, the mines were worked in very severe conditions.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


ふんどしに 棒つきのいる 佐渡の山
fundoshi ni bootsuki no iru Sado no yama

people clad in loincloth
and people with a long stick 
at Sado Mountain

To make sure the workers did not smuggle any gold out of the mines, there were guards at the entrance/exit.

- source :

. senryu, senryū 川柳 Senryu in Edo .


More festivals in Sado

. . . . . SPRING
Mano Park Cherry Blossom Festival
Sado Toki Marathon
Okesa Hana no Ran
Donden Highland Spring Festival
Sponichi Sado Long Ride cycling
Sadokoku Ondeko Dot Com

. . . . . SUMMER
Sado Kanzo Festival
Gold Mine Festival
Kakusanmaru Festival
Akadomari Port Festival
Earth Celebration
Ogi Port Festival

. . . . . Autumn
Sado Island Long Distance Triathlon
Sado Hill Climb
Oni-Daiko in Niibo and Toki Yubae Ichi
Momijiyama Maple Festival
Osaki Soba Party

. . . . . Winter
Sado Kaifu Winter Yellowtail Bumper Catch Festival
Setchu Toshikoshi Mikoshi
Kobie Jinja Ta-asobi Shinji
Lake Kamoko Oyster Festival
source :

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Food specialities from Sado Island

suketo no okijiru スケトウの沖汁 / スケトの沖汁
halibutt soup on the boat

yukinori, yuki nori 雪海苔 "snow-nori"
いごねり igoneri, seaweed food, Sado Island

mojio 藻塩 salt with seaweed

okoshigata おこし型 colored sweet dumplings
Sado beanpaste cakes

and more


Sado Island

荒海や 佐渡によこたふ 天河
araumi ya Sado ni yokotau ama no kawa

O'er wild ocean spray,
All the way to Sado Isle
Spreads the Milky Way

Tr. Dorothy Britton

. Matsuo Basho - Oku no Hosomichi .
- - - Station 33 - Echigo 越後路 - - -


runin 流人 an exiled person

yukitake o kikade runin no awase kana

not asking
for the length of the sleeve for a light kimono
for the exiled

Tr. Gabi Greve

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .
Rakujitsu-An 落日庵 Rakujitsuan , 明和六年 - 1769

yukitake 裄丈 the length of a sleeve from the neck to the wrist.
The exiled persons all got the same size of a light kimono and had to make do.

. awase 袷 light linnen kimono .

Related words

***** . Tsuburo fertility dance (tsuburosashi)
Sado Island

***** . Big Drum Festival (O-Taiko Matsuri )
お太鼓祭り at Shrine Toyozumi Jinja 豊積神社

***** . Hiyoshi matsuri 日吉祭(ひよしまつり) Hiyoshi shrine festival
Sannoo matsuri 山王祭 (さんのうまつり) Sanno Festival

***** . The Drum (ko 鼓) of Japan

BACK : Top of this Saijiki



Tsuburosashi Sado

. Sadogashima 佐渡島 Sado Island - Introduction .

Tsuburo fertility dance (tsuburosashi)

***** Location: Sado Island, Japan
***** Season: Mid-Summer
***** Category: Observance


tsuburosashi つぶろさし Tsuburo fertility dance
June 15

Performance of a special fertility dance at the shrines Sugawara, Hamochimachi and Kusakari in the south of Sado Island, Niigata.

菅原神社 新潟県羽茂町

CLICK for more photos

There are two performers, a man, Tsuburosashi, and a woman, Sasarasuri ささらすり.
Tsuburosashi holds a stick formed like a phallus and jumps around rubbing and waving it. Sasarasuri holds a stick made of bamoo.

They both hop around and rub these sticks.

The group of performer carry a special drum decorated with ancient zeni coins,
Zenidaiko 銭太鼓.

The penis is called tsuburo, also a name for the bottle gourd.
sashi refers to it rubbing in a ritual prayer for fertility for the fields and the families.

The dance dates back to the 16th century. Legend knows, that a messenger of the village was send to Kyoto to learn about the tea ceremony. He saw a similar dance durng the Gion festival in Kyoto and introduced it to his home village, when he came back. Later it was picked up at the local Shinto shrines during the annual festival, to pray for thousands of rice grains coming from one seed.


Since tsuburo is such a colorful local word, it mighe even be translated with a more "down to earth" word in other languages, like

big dick dance festival

Here is a long list for synonymes

beaver basher
bell on a pole
beef whistle

and so on until Z

source :


At shrine Kusakari jinja 草刈神社

source : dojoccosado

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


tsuburosashi hanami basama nokezotte

tsuburo fertility dance -
a woman dressed for cherry blossom viewing
bends far backward

Kishida Chigyo 岸田稚魚 (1918 - 1988)
大正7年)1月19日 - 1988年(昭和63年)11月24日

Related words

***** . Penis Festivals for a bountiful harvest  

***** . ondeko 鬼太鼓 (おんでこ) Demon's Drums

BACK : Top of this Saijiki



Yahiko Niigata


Four Seasons in Yahiko

Cherry blossoms
Peak: Early April to early May of every year
Place: Yahiko Shrine Sakura-en, Yahiko Park, Yahiko summit, Yahiko Station area, Gaienzaka-dori Street, etc

National High School Invitational Ekiden Relay Race in Yahiko 
Date: Last Saturday of every March

Yukake (Hot Water Splashing) Festival
Date: Mid-April of every year
Place: Yahiko Station - Yahiko Hot-Spring Resort - Yahiko Shrine.
The "Yukake" Festival begins by receiving hot-spring water from Yu Shrine where a sacred spring has been running for thousands of years.
A praying ritual is performed with a tub containing the water borne on the shoulders of the participants. Once the ritual is over, the tub containing the sacred hot water is mounted on a Yubiki-guruma cart, which is then wheeled through the hot-spring resort area as Kiyari chants are performed. As the sacred hot water is splashed over the spectators using bamboo branches with green leaves, those spectators pray for sound health, good luck, business success, and success in their exams.
Everyone is welcome to participate.

Daidai Kagura (National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property)
Date: April 18 of every year

Opening of Mt. Yahiko  
Date: Mid-April of every year
This mountain opening event marks the start of the Mt. Yahiko sightseeing season in the lively spring atmosphere.

Yahagi Hono Sato-kaguramai Dance
(Village-Designated Cultural Property)
Date: April 24 of every year

Bonsai Exhibition Dedicated to Yahiko Shrine
Date: April 29 - May 5 of every year

Yahiko Firefly Festival

Date: Mid-June of every year

Yahiko Lantern Festival
Date: July 24 - 26 of every year
The Yahiko Lantern Festival, the village's traditional summer festival, is a three-day event where the local people enthusiastically get together. While the festival was traditionally held around June 14 by the lunar calendar, this was changed in 1961 to keep up with the times.
The festival is now held around June 25. On the night of July 25, a mystical parade featuring large lanterns dedicated by Dai-touro Kochu groups from around the prefecture, and numerous small Sho-dengaku lanterns offered by local parishioner groups, are carried through the streets, with two Mikagura floats at the center of the parade and attended by two dancing children - Kagaraku and Amainumai - along with the chief priest, other priests and shrine officials. Accompanied by cheerful Doraku music that is played by court musicians, the parade of lanterns – that is more than one kilometer long – departs from the shrine and then circuits the town for about two hours before returning to the front of the worship hall.
Then, the large lanterns are hung around a dancing stage set up in front of the worship hall, where the centuries-old Kagaraku and Amainumai dances are performed. The dancing ends at midnight. On the following day – the 26th – the Kangyosai festival is held, which completes the series of Shinto rituals.

Chrysanthemum Festival
Date: November 1 - 24 of every year

Ninen-mode and Hatsu-mode
(First Shrine Visit of the Year)
Date: December 31 - Mid-January of every year

Yumi Hajime Shinto Ritual
Date: January 7 of every year
On January 7, the Yumi Hajime Shinto ritual, an annual New Year event, is performed at Yahiko Shrine. This is an ancient Shinto ritual for expelling evil and praying for good luck and bumper crops in the coming year.

Kayuura Sumioki Shinto Ritual
Date: January 15 and 16 of every
Kayu Uranai
This is a mysterious Shinto ritual that is nowadays held only by this shrine. It is conducted at the beginning of the year in the hope of finding an oracle, praying for bumper crops and forecasting the weather conditions for the year. First, the "XX-sai" ceremony is held in the evening of January 15. On the following day – the 16th – the "Shinsen no Gi" ceremony is performed before dawn in a special building called the "Meshi-dono".
While the ritual is not open to the public, farmers have profound faith in the results of the fortune telling, which are not only posted in the shrine precincts but also printed and then distributed to 20,000 Hatsuho-ko group members around the prefecture.

source :


. WKD : Festivals in Niigata .

. Shrine Echigo Ichi no Miya 越後一の宮 .

Related words


. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

BACK : Top of this Saijiki



Urasa Naked Festival



Naked Festival at Temple Fukoo-Ji

***** Location: Niigata, Japan
***** Season: Mid-Spring
***** Category: Observance


Urasa Naked Man Festival, Urasa no Doo Oshi
浦佐の堂押し (うらさのどうおし)

"naked pushing" hadaka oshi 裸押し (はだかおし)
"pushing festival", 押合祭(おしあいまつり)

at the Hall Bishamondo 毘沙門堂 at Temple Fuko-Ji (Fukoo-Ji 普光寺), Urasa, Niigata pref.

CLICK for more English information

During this old ceremony, some 300 to 500 young men dressed in white loincloth purify their bodies by pouring cold water on themselves. Then they jostle each other briskly in a ceremony to bring about a good harvest. It starts at 8 pm and lasts late into the night.
The men from the village are between 18 and 29 years.

During the preparations for this purification ceremony, they are not allowed to eat things with two or four legs (pig, chicken etc.) and must abstain to see their girlfriends. The wifes have to go back to their own family during these days.
During the pushing and shuffling the men get quite hot despite the cold season. They can jump into a large stone basin to cool down.

CLICK for more photos of SASARA
Others use a simple instrument made from bamboo, sasara 簓 , to make a noise which is said a speciality of Bishamonten. When the sasara turns inside, it is a bad omen, if it turns outside, it is a good omen.

The ceremonies end on March 3, sangetsu mikka 三月三日(サンゲツ・ミッカ).
Urasa Hatakaoshiai Matsuri

CLICK for more Japanese photos
Click for more photos !


Two old prints from the festival

© ..oshiaihokuetu.html


This temple is also famous for a statue of Fudo Myo-O in the cliff.
This is said to be the largest of its kind in Japan.

© PHOTO : 街 点描

Magaibutsu and Fudo Myo-O: 磨崖仏
Daruma Museum

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

The God Bishamon-Ten . 毘沙門天
Daruma Museum


mizu kakete yuge tachi noboru hadaka oshi

throwing water at each other
steam rises up ...
naked pushing

Tr. Gabi Greve

© Ki no Mama .. 気ままの記


Related words

***** Naked Festivals of Japan



Donzuki Festival


Donzuki Festival

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


"Body Throwing Festival", Donzuki Festival,
Donzuki matsuri
どんづき祭 (どんづきまつり)

February 15 (lately: 3rd sunday in February)

CLICK for more photos CLICK for more photos

At the Shrine of the Mountain God, Akatani-san 赤谷の山神社 in the village of Shibata in Niigata Prefecture.

The festival has a history of over 700-years.
It takes place from 7 pm to 8 pm. The area is still all white with snow.
"Men of the year" dressed in white loincloth only jostle one another and pull ropes to worship at the Shrine to pray for a good harvest and good health the coming year. They pull the rope from the shrine to the entrance gate (torii) and back. Hot steam rises from their naked bodies and the onlookers throw snowballs at them. Then one of the priests and the leader of the men are thrown high into the air and others catch them (dooage 胴上げ), which later gave way to the pronounciation "doozuki, donzuki".
The men all carry a paper lantern with their own name.

When they come home, they get a special food called "holding the life together", inochi tsunagi いのちつなぎ.

It used to be one of the New Year Ceremonies of old.

One of the "naked men" festivals.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


shoonen no fudoshi massara ni donzuki sai

the loincloth of the youths
all tight in place ...
Donzuki Festival

Tr. Gabi Greve

© Okamura Yuko 岡村優子


Related words

***** Man of the year, toshi otoko