Showing posts with label Shinto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shinto. Show all posts

4/23/2011

Taga Shrine Festivals

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Taga Shrine Festivals

***** Location: Taga, Shiga
***** Season: See below.
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

Taga Taisha 多賀大社 Great Taga Shrine
in Shiga prefecture
http://www.tagataisya.or.jp/



quote
Two deities are enshrined at Taga Taisha - Izanagi no-Okami (father of Amaterasu-Omikami enshrined in Ise Jingu) and Izanami no-Okami. It is popular among many believers as a shrine of life prolongation and longevity while also protecting people against evils.
The shrine has a long history indeed as it even appeared on "Kojiki", the oldest record of events in the country completed in 712.

On its grounds is a rock called the Chojuseki that is believed to be effective at life prolongation. Additionally, the Otaga-Jakushi, a charm to protect you from sickness and grant you longevity, is sold for 300 yen a piece which is indeed popular among many.

The Okushoin Teien (place of scenic beauty) is a unique type of garden that can be seen by looking down from the Shoin. Actualizing a wonderful harmony with the Okushoin, the two features indeed create a beautiful landscape.

The Itokiri-mochi sold at "Tagaya" in front of the shrine is a famous confection that is elegantly sweet. It is made by stretching a soft lump of rice cake with a filling into a thin strip and cutting it into several pieces with a string.

Otaga-shakushi (お多賀杓子):
A talisman shakushi (Japanese ladle) from the reign of Empress Genshō. Allegedly the origin of the Japanese word otamajakushi.
source : www.japan-i.jp

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Korei taisai (古例大祭)
Most important festival held on April 23. Also known as
Taga-matsuri (多賀まつり).
. . . CLICK here for Photos !



Otaue-sai (御田植祭) (O-taue sai)
A festival of planting rice with traditional rites.
June 7.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !




Mantoo-sai
(万灯祭) (Manto sai)
Lantern festival held on the night of August 3-5.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !



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Taga Castle, the capital of Mutsu Province

Tagajo  多賀城 Tagajo Castle in Miyagi pref.

宮城県多賀城市
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


quote
Tagajō (多賀城市, Tagajō-shi) is a city located in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
The city was named after Taga Castle, the capital of Mutsu Province.

As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 63,256 and the population density of 3,220 persons per km². The total area is 19.64 km².

The present day city was founded on November 1, 1971.
The tsunami in 869 caused extensive flooding of the Sendai plain, destroying the town of Tagajō. Archaeological investigations have identified the remains of 8th and 9th century buildings beneath the present town, covered by sediments dated to the middle of the 10th century.

The town was again seriously affected by the tsunami caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. As of 7 April 2011, 177 people were known dead, with 15 missing. 1,811 people were living in shelters.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !




Great Haiku Meeting at Tagajo
壺の碑全国俳句大会 Tsubo no Hi
in October

There is also a great tea ceremony.
source : www.city.tagajo.miyagi.jp


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HAIKU



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Related words

***** . WKD : Main Index  


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4/22/2011

Yasukuni Shrine

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Yasukuni Shrine Festival

***** Location: Tokyo, Japan
***** Season: Late Spring
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

Yasukuni matsuri 靖国祭 (やすくにまつり)
Yasukuni shrine festival

Shookonsai 招魂祭(しょうこんさい)
Shokonsai, "soul summoning rite", "spirit inviting rite"

April 21 till 23
Shunki Reitaisai (Annual Spring Festival)

Purification ritual in the afternoon of 21.
Official prayers for the Dead on 22.


Yasukuni Shrine 靖国神社 Yasukuni Jinja
is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is dedicated to the soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan.
Currently, its Symbolic Registry of Divinities lists the names of over 2,466,000 enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of Imperial Japan, particularly to those killed in wartime. It also houses one of the few Japanese war museums dedicated to World War II. There are also commemorative statues to mothers and animals who sacrificed in the war.
The shrine has attracted controversy for enshrining a number of war criminals from the Second World War.


Yasukuni is a shrine to house the actual souls of the dead as kami, or "spirits/souls" as loosely defined in English. It is believed that all negative or evil acts committed are absolved when enshrinement occurs. This activity is strictly a religious matter since the separation of State Shinto and the Japanese government in 1945.

The priesthood at the shrine has complete religious autonomy to decide to whom and how enshrinement may occur. They believe that enshrinement is permanent and irreversible. According to Shinto beliefs, by enshrining kami, Yasukuni Shrine provides a permanent residence for the spirits of those who have fought on behalf of the Emperor.
Yasukuni has all enshrined kami occupying the same single seat. The shrine is dedicated to give peace and rest to all those enshrined there.
It was the only place to which the Emperor of Japan bowed.

Enshrinement of war criminals
One of the controversies arises out of the enshrinement of World War II war criminals. In 1959, the kami of 1,068 Class-B and -C war criminals who had been executed after being sentenced to death by the military tribunals of the Allied Forces were enshrined at Yasukuni.


Annual celebrations
January 1: Shinnensai (New Year's Festival)

February 11: Kenkoku Kinensai (National Foundation Day)
Anniversary of the day on which Japan's first Emperor, Emperor Jimmu, is said to have founded the Japanese nation.

February 17: Kinensai (Spring Festival for Harvest)

April 21–23: Shunki Reitaisai 春季例大祭
(Annual Spring Festival)


April 29: Showasai (Showa Festival)—Emperor Showa's birthday

June 29: Gosoritsu Kinenbisai (Founding Day)
Commemoration of the founding of Yasukuni Jinja

July 13–16: Mitama Matsuri—
A mid-summer celebration of the spirits of the ancestors. The entry walk is decorated with 40 foot high walls of 29000 or more lanterns, and thousands of visitors come to pay respects to their lost relatives and friends.

October 17–20: Shuki Reitaisai (Annual Autumn Festival)

November 3: Meijisai (Emperor Meiji's Birthday)

November 23: Niinamesai (Festival of First Fruits)

December 23: Tenno gotanshin Hoshukusai
(Birthday of the Current Emperor)

The first, 11th and 21st day of each month: Tukinamisai

Every day:
Asa Mikesai, Yu Mikesai, Eitai Kagurasai (perpetual Kagura festivals)

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Amulet from Yasukuni Shrine

. . . CLICK here for more Amulets !


Homepage of Yasukuni Shrine

source : www.yasukuni.or.jp



Oonusa 大麻 (おおぬさ) Onusa Amulet


source : Yasukuni Amulets


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Things found on the way


a car named : Daruma Serika ダルマ・セリカ



A car race starting from Yasukuni shrine
靖国神社をスタート
finish at Kamigamo Shrine, Kyoto
京都は上賀茂神社

source : minkara.carview.co.jp


. . . CLICK here for "Daruma Serika" Photos !


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HAIKU


靖国祭喜寿の報告父にせり
Yasukuni sai kiju no hookoku chichi ni seri

Yasukuni shrine festival -
I report to my father
I am now seventy-seven


Saito Mamoru 佐藤守



kiju 喜寿 is a special birthday in Japan.
Special Birthdays in Japan


kanreki 還暦 60th birthday
. The Circle of 60 Years .


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Related words

***** . Kenkoku kinenbi 建国記念日 (けんこくきねんび)
National Foundation Day of Japan .



***** . OBSERVANCES – SPRING SAIJIKI .


. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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4/17/2011

Tomobata Flag Festival

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Tomobata Flag Festival (tomobata matsuri)

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


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Explanation

Tomobata matsuri 伴旗祭 (ともばたまつり)
Tomobata Flag Festival

..... Ogikoo sai 小木港祭(おぎこうさい)Ogiko Harbour Festival

April 17 and 18



shrine Mifune Jinja 御船神社

Ishikawa prefecture, 
Uchiura machi, 石川県 内浦町 御船神社


quote
This spring Festival is dedicated to Mifune Shrine.
This Festival is also known as Mifune Matsuri. The 10 boats are decorated with 5 coloured Fukinagashi streamers. A huge streamer which is 20 m tall and 2 m wide and is made by stringing 500 Minogami washi papers is erected on the catamaran boat.
This huge streamer is called Tomobata.



These boats then rove around the Ogi Bay in tune with the rallying cries of "Yo-Yo-" and music of flutes, bells and drums. The scene which looks like a painting from an old picture scroll is sure to take you back in time.
source : hot-ishikawa.jp





The Tomobata 伴旗 flags.

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Other festivals in Ishikawa, Noto area

Abare (Rampage) Festival
Nights of the first Friday and Saturday of July
Abare Festival is dedicated to Yasaka Shrine in Ushitsu of Noto Peninsula.


Issaki Hoto Festival
First Saturday of August
This is one of the biggest and most lively summer festivals of Noto where spirited men from the area around a fishing town called Ishizaki parade through the streets bearing Kiriko lanterns


Seihakusai
May 3rd - 5th
This Festival is a designated as Japan's Important Intangible Cultural Property and is widely known as "Seihakusai Dekayama Festival".


Okuma Kabuto Festival
September 20th
One of Japan's Important Intangible Cultural Properties. This important Festival is dedicated to Kuma Kabuto Arakashi-hiko Shrine which is also known as Kuma Kabuto shrine. This Festival is also known as "20th Day Festival" since it is celebrated on 20th of September every year.


Wajima Taisai (Great Festival of Wajima)
August 23rd - 25th
10 meter tall festival lanterns called Kiriko as well as smaller portable paper lanterns are carried through the town streets along with portable shrines called 'omikoshi'.


Nafune Gojinjo Drum
Almost everyday from July to October;
The Gojinjo Drum Performance is a traditional folk entertainment in the Nafune area. It is said that the drummers wearing ghost masks and seaweed hair fought off the armies of Uesugi Kenshin who tried to attack the area in 1577.


Noto's Sakura (Cherry blossom) Station
April
Kashima, Anamizu-machi


Komaruyama Park's Sakura
April
This was originally the site of Nanao Castle founded close to the seashore by the 1st Lord of Kaga Province, Lord Maeda.


Shio Yawaragi no Sato
April
With 1,500 trees of Someiyoshino cherry blossom variety, Yawaragi-no-Sato (Place of Peace) is one of Noto's most famous cherry blossoms viewing spot.
source : hot-ishikawa.jp


MORE Festivals
source : ishikawajet.wikia.com

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Things found on the way



. Washi - Paper from Mino .


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HAIKU




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Related words

***** . Prayer flag, prayer flags.


***** . OBSERVANCES – SPRING SAIJIKI .



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4/14/2011

Hiyoshi Shrine Festivals

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Hiyoshi Shrine Festivals

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


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Explanation



Hiyoshi Shrine (日吉大社 Hiyoshi taisha),
also known as Hiyoshi jinja (日吉神社) or Hie jinja,
is a Shinto shrine located at 大津 Ōtsu in Shiga Prefecture, Japan.

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; and in 991, Emperor Ichijō added three more shrines to Murakami's list. Three years later in 994, Ichijō refined the scope of that composite list by adding Umenomiya Shrine and Gion Shrine, which is now known as Yasaka Jinja.

In 1039, Emperor Go-Suzaku ordered that one more shrine be added to the grouping created by Murakami and Ichijō -- the Hie jinja. This unique number of Imperial-designated shrines has not been altered since that time.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



Sanno, the "Mountain King"
A branch of Shinto that took shape in the Tendai sect, based on the cult of the Mountain King (Sannō) at the Hiyoshi Taisha (alt., Hie Taisha), tutelary shrine (chinjusha) for the temple Enryakuji. Its early modern doctrines that concern the shrine Tōshōgū are specially distinguished as Ichijitsu Shintō, the "Shinto of the Single Reality." The original Hie deity was the mountain kami on Mt. Hiei; interaction between it and the Tendai sect began with Saichō's founding of the Enryakuji.
The appellation "Mountain King" follows a general Buddhist practice of designating mountain deities as such ...
source : Sato Masato, Kokugakuin


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kigo for late spring

Sannoo matsuri 山王祭 (さんのうまつり) Sanno Festival

Sanno sai, San-O Festival

Hiyoshi matsuri 日吉祭(ひよしまつり) Hiyoshi festival

sakaki giri 榊伐(さかきぎり)cutting sakaki branches

sarumatsuri 申祭(さるまつり)monkey festival
saru no jinku 猿の神供(さるのじんく)ritual for the monkey

uma no shinji 午の神事(うまのしんじ) ritual for the horse
hitsuji no goku 未の御供(ひつじのごく)ritual for the sheep

April 14
At the Grand Hie (Hiyoshi) Shrine at Otsu

滋賀県大津市坂本町の日吉神社
It used to be on the middle day of the monkey (naka no saru 中の申) of the Asian lunar calendar, therefore it is also called "Monkey Festival".
It dates back to 1303.
The cutting of sacred sakaki branches happens on April 3.
On the "day of the horse" the mikoshi were carried to the mountain top at midnight.
An the 12th the mikoshi are pulled out in a nightly procession illuminated with large pine torches and on the main day 7 large mikoshi parade the streets.


. WKD : Sakaki tree (sakaki 榊) .

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There are three major festivals in Otsu:

Sanno Festival - April 12-15
Senko Festival - August 16
Otsu Festival - October 9-10

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. Hie Shrine Festival (Hie Jinja Sairei 日枝神社祭礼)
Sannoo matsuri 山王祭(さんのうまつり)Sanno festival
In Edo/Tokyo
kigo for mid-summer

The Hie Jinja Shrine (Tokyo) is dedicated to Sanno Gongen (山王権現), which translates literally as "Mountain King Avatar" of Sannoo, the deity who dwells on Mt. Hiei between Kyoto and Lake Biwa.

SANNO GONGEN 山王権現
SARUGAMI 猿神
Monkeys are patrons of harmonious marriage and safe childbirth at some of the 3,800 Hie Jinja shrines in Japan. ... The monkey is Sannou's Shinto messenger (tsukai 使い) and Buddhist avatar (gongen 権現).
Sarugami is the Shinto deity to whom the three monkeys (hear, speak, see no evil) are reportedly faithful.
source : Mark Schumacher


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quote
Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine [山王総本宮日吉大社]
Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is the head shrine of approximately 3,800 Hiyoshi, Hie and Sanno shrines throughout Japan.

The history of Hiyoshi Taisha is long. It is recorded in "Kojiki," the oldest historiography in Japan written in 712. Its vast premises (about 430,000 m2) of this shrine are laid at the foot of Mt. Hachioji, east side of Mt. Hiei.
The shrine is comprised of two zones, Higashi Hongu (West main shrine) and Nishi Hongu (East main shrine), with many smaller shrines in the area.

In the Muromachi Period, the heyday of Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine, 108 shrines were located on its grounds and another 108 shrines outside the shrine premises.

Among many shrine buildings, main halls of Higashi Hongu (West main shrine) and Nishi Hongu (East main shrine) are designated as national treasures. Also, many structures of this shrine are recognized as important cultural assets of Japan including worship halls of the both Higashi Hongu and Nishi Hongu, Nishi Hongu Ro-mon Gate, the red two-storied gate with the carving of a monkey, and Sanno-torii Gate.

Spectacular shrine pavilions of architectural beauty, which were built in the Muromachi Period and the beginning of Edo Period, are scattered in the deep forest Mt. Hachioji and along the torrents of the Omiya River. The beauty of the autumn leaves in Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine is renowned. The premises are illuminated at night during the autumn season. In springtime many kinds of cherry blossoms fill the prefectural road from Keihan Railway Sakamoto Station to the entrance of Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine.
Also, Sanno Festival, the festival of Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine, is held in spring every year.
source : www.japan-i.jp


- quote
かつては境内108社・境外108社と言われていた。
以下に示す21社は主なものであり、山王二十一社と総称される
(Now there are 21 shrines in the compound
- one of them is dedicated to Fudo Myo-O
摂社
- shrine name - 早尾神社 Hayao Jinja
- Deity in residence - 素盞嗚神 - Susanoo no Mikoto
Old naming 早尾 -- 不動明王
- source : ja.wikipedia.org




This is a namikiri Fudo 波切不動明王.
- no photo fount yet -




There is also a
Yamakami Fudo Son 山上不動尊

in the compound, where a large sugi cedar with a shimenawa is celebrated.


Every month on the 28 fire rituals for Fudo Myo-O are held.
滋賀県大津市山上町
source : tanuki838.web.fc2.com/Taki


. Fudō Myō-ō, Fudoo Myoo-Oo 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O
Acala Vidyârâja - Vidyaraja - Fudo Myoo .




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quote
Sannō Shinkō - Sanno Shinko
The cult that began at Hiyoshi Taisha (Hiesha) at the foot of Mount Hiei. Originally, Sannō was the "mountain kami" (yama no kami) of Mount Hiei, but came to be worshipped as the protective kami of the Tendai (Chi. T'ient'ai) sect and of the temple Enryakuji. After the mid-Heian Period, when the temple Enryakuji developed as a kenmon (central land-owning institution) temple complex, imperial court devotion to Hiesha increased.

Courts such as that of Enyū emperor (reigned 969 ~ 984) conducted occasional festivals there and finally recognized Hieisha as one of the "Twenty-two Shrines" (nijūnisha). Moreover, from the end of the Heian Period through the medieval period, Hieisha became as popular as "Kumano's Three Peaks" (Kumano sanzan) as a pilgrimage site (sankei) among everyone from emperors and retired emperors to aristocrats and commoners.

At the beginning of the medieval period, along with the popularity of belief in "child deities" (dōji) and "offspring shrines" (wakamiya), the popularity of Jūzenji shrine (currently called Jugegū – one of Sannō's seven main shrines) surpassed that of Hieisha's Ōmiya shrine in which Hiesha's principle "enshrined kami" (saijin) is worshipped.

As the protective deity of Tendai temples and of Enryakuji or Hiesha's land holdings, Sannō "emanations" became worshipped (bunshi) throughout Japan resulting in the further spread of the cult of Sannō.

Because Hiesha is located to the northeast of Kyōto, it became regarded as a guardian against the evil spirits entering the capital from "demon gate" (kimono) northeastern direction, and as a result sacred images (shinzō) of divine monkeys believed to be Sannō's "divine messengers" (shinshi) were enshrined in the northeastern corner of the Heian imperial palace.
source : Sato Masato
Kokugakuin University 2007


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quote
Numazu Hie-jinja 沼津 日枝神社 Hie Shrine in Numazu
Hie Shrine in Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, had been the head guardian shrine of 22 villages in the area before the Meiji period (1868-1912). The enshrined deities are Ooyamakui no Kami The guardian god of Mt. Hiei), Oomunachi no Kami and Ootoshigami. It is said that the shrine was founded by Fujiwara no Moromichi’s mother in 1100 in the clan’s manor, which was called “Ooka-sho” at that time.

Fujiwara no Moromichi was a head of the Fujiwara clan and served as Kampaku and Udaijin. Having come into colligion with the Tendai monks in Mt. Hiei, he ordered to attack them in 1095. As some monks were wounded in the battle and this aroused anger of the monks, he was placed a curse and died young in 1099. Thus his mother transferred the three dieties of Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine in Mt. Hiei to appease the anger of the deities of Mt. Hiei.

Traditionally, the school of Shinto which believes in the guardian deity of Mt. Hiei is called the Sanno (the King of Mountain) Shinto; hereby this shrine is also called “Sanno-sha”. The annual festival held for two days from September 23 every year is popularly called “Sanno-san” by the local people and enjoyed as the representative event of the city that tells of the coming of autumn.

The shrine is also famous for the collection of important old documents including Sanno Reikenki in Shihon-Chakushoku style (paper-based colored), which is a nationally designated Important Cultural Property.
In the precinct is a stone monument inscribed with a poem by Matsuo Basho.
source : nippon-kichi.jp




都出て神も旅寝の日数哉
miyako idete kami mo tabine no hikazu kana

I left the capital
and shared many nights on the road
with the gods


Matsuo Basho, 1691

Basho had left Kyoto late in the 10th lunar month and arrived in Numazu on his way to Edo early in the 11th lunar month, just when the gods are absentin Izumo and might have been on their way home too.

. WKD : Gods are absent (kami no rusu) .

. Numazu-juku 沼津宿 Numazu postal station .


MORE - hokku about Kyoto
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


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. Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine
(住吉大社, Sumiyoshi-taisha)



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 Sumiyoshi Shrine.

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Monkey Amulet from Hiyoshi Shrine


Click for more images!

saru monkey - a pun on the sound of SARU

ma ga saru 魔が去る evil is leaving
ma saru 魔去る evil is leaving
masaru 勝る winning


神猿 Masaru


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O-Saru Sama お猿様 Honoarble Mister Monkey

Monkey amulets from shrine Hagi Hiyoshi Jinja in Saitama.
萩日吉神社

They are simple wooden dolls with simple monkey faces.
The wood is taken from the trees in the temple ground, a kind of willow, doro no ki 泥の木/白楊 (doro yanagi).
People used to stick one needle into the monkey, at the part they were acheing themselves, or when the children got a stomach ache or other complaint, and hoped for the deity to cure their disease. (byooki sa saru - may the disease go away). They put the monkey on their shelf for the gods and prayed to it.
The monkey would then take on the disease and heal it, as a kind of migawari, personal substitute .

When the person gets better people would bring the monkey back in an act of gratitude (osame no saru 納めの猿).

They are sold on the special market during the festival on the third sunday in January.
At this shrine, there is also a yabusame festival, shooting arrows from horseback, once in three years.


. Saru 申 / 猿 Monkey Amulets .

. Migawari - personal substitute amulets .


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HAIKU




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Related words

***** . Gion Festival (Gion matsuri 祇園祭り)

***** . Shrine Karasaki Jinja 唐崎神社 .
and the Hiyoshi shrine in Otsu


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4/01/2011

Oyamato Shrine Festivals

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for koma inu 狛犬 guardian dogs see below


Ooyamato Shrine Festivals

***** Location: Nara, Tenri Village
***** Season: See below
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

Ooyamato shinkoosai 大和神幸祭 (おおやまとしんこうさい)
Festival at shrine Oyamato Jinja
chanchan matsuri ちゃんちゃん祭 Chanchan festival


observance kigo for late spring



source : iron.cocolog-nifty.com/matsuri
大和神社ちゃんちゃん祭り


April 1
at the shrine Ooyamato Jinja 大和神社 Oyamato Jinja
奈良県天理市新泉

The mikoshi is carried to the large stone otabisho 御旅所 resting place.

source and more photos : tyantyan/index.html
中山町での「お旅所祭」
The tabisho is also called 岸田の市場.


Many prayer gongs (shooko) 鉦鼓 are rung when the mikoshi arrives, therefore the festival is also called "chanchan", like the sound of the gongs.


Chimaki mochi 粽餅 steamed rice dumplings are offered to the deities.

Various dances are performed.
ryuu no mai 龍の舞 "dragon dance"
.....「竜の口」舞い

ta no mi no mai 田の実の舞 "field fruit dance"
ogina mai 翁舞 a kind of sarugaku dance

Showing the sacred horse 神馬曳き and other rituals.



MORE
photos from this festival :
source : 09-6tyantyan



quote
Held on April 1, this is the annual high festival (reitaisai) of Ōyamato Jinja in Tenri City, Nara Prefecture.
On the day before the festival, those people who are to participate in the togyo (sacred procession) present offerings of taihei (large nusa, ritual purification wands) at the shrine. In an event called the yoimiya watashi, the shinshoku (priest) receives the taihei and makes a ceremonial offering (hōbei) with the performance of a norito.

The Chan-chan matsuri begins at ten o'clock the next morning, and with the transfer of the god (mitama utsushi) to the shin'yo (sacred palanquin) at approximately two o'clock, the procession sets forth. The syllables "chan-chan," representing the sound of the bells that accompany the procession to the otabisho (temporary destination or resting point), became the common name of the festival.

This is also the largest shinkō procession among festivals in the Yamato region. During the otabisho rites, there are offerings (kensen) of steamed rice cakes (chimaki mochi) and dedications (hōnō) of artistic performances.
source : Mori Sakae, Kokugakuin 2007


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Deities in residence are

Yamato no Ookuni Tama no Kami 倭大国魂神
(やまとのおおくにたまのかみ)
Okunitama no Kami
日本大国魂大神 in the central hall 中殿

Yachihoko no Kami 八千矛神(やちほこのかみ)to the left

Mi-Toshi no Kami 御年神(みとしのかみ) / 御年大神 to the right

. Toshigami 年神 God of the Year .
, Toshidon and other names


quote
Yamatonoōkunitama
[Yamato no ōkunitama] (Nihongi)

Other names: Yamato no ōkunitama no kami
The central deity (saijin) of the Ōyamato Shrine, but possessing ambiguous attributes. According to Nihongi's record of the sixth year of Emperor Sujin's reign, Yamato no Ōkunitama was originally enshrined together with Amaterasu ōmikami inside the palace, but the emperor feared the power of the two kami, and decided to no longer dwell under the same roof with them. Amaterasu possessed the maiden Toyosukiirihime no mikoto and led her to a new place of enshrinement at Kasanui no mura in Yamato, while
Yamato no Ōkunitama possessed Nunakiirihime no mikoto and was enshrined at the Ōyamato Shrine.

In his Kojikiden, Motoori Norinaga denied the theory that Yamato no Ōkunitama was the same as Ōkuninushi no kami, but the Ōyamato Jinja chūshinjō (1167) claims that Ōkunitama is the "rough spirit" (aramitama) of Ōnamuchi (another name for Ōkuninushi).
source : Matsunaga Naomichi, Kokugakuin 2005


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Other festivals


1月4日 -- January 4
O-yumi hajime 御弓始式 First Archery Offering
from the Ogasawara line of archery 小笠原流弓術

Sansan kudebasami shiki 三々九手挟式 shooting ritual

The arrows for this ritual are called
jintooya 神頭矢 and made from white shirano bamboo 白箆.
Feathers from an eagle or hawk.
source : ogasawararyu kamakura


. WKD : Horses and Yabusame .

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6月30日 -- June 30
chinowa kuguri 茅の輪くぐり Summer purification

. Summer Purification Ceremony (nagoshi) .
chinowa 茅の輪 sacred ring
passing through the sacred ring, wagoshi matsuri 輪越祭


More festivals at the shrine:
source : ooyamato

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quote
Oyamato Shrine
is located in Tenri City, Nara Pref. It was called “Yamato no Miya” in ancient times. It is said that Emperor Sujin (B.C. 97-30), who was afraid of the sacred power of Okunitama no Okami, which was enshrined at the Imperial Place with Amaterasu Okami, ordered his daughter, Nunaki Iri Hime, to relocate it to this place. Later the emperor built the shrine here, assigning Ichishi no Nagaoichi as the head priest.


In the early Heian period, the shrine flourished and possessed the second largest shrine territory next to Ise shrine.
However with the capital relocation to Kyoto, the shrine fell into decline. From the nominal link, the deity of this shrine was imparted to Battle Ship Yamato, and the war memorial stone for the crew on Yamato is placed in the precinct.
Annual festival of “Chan Chan Festival,” in which a parade of people in ancient costumes walk through the town, carrying mikoshi and beating shoko (bronze gongs), is enjoyed by people as the charming sight of the spring.
source : nippon-kichi.jp




Homepage of the shrine: OOYAMATO SHIRINE 大和神社
source : ooyamato


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狛犬大神 Komainu Daijin
八幡大神 Hachiman Daijin
道祖大神 Dooso Daijin
The amulets come in a beautiful wooden box.


a shrine with the same kanji, but different reading

小諸市の大和神社(やまとじんじゃ)
Shrine Yamato Jinja, Komoro Town, Nagano
from 宗教法人「紀元会」Kigen Kai
source : cult.s295


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. Ookunitama 大国魂神社 Okunitama Jinja .
Miya-Machi,Fuchu-Shi,Tokyo


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quote
komainu, koma inu 狛犬
Lit. 'Korean dog'.
A pair of lion-like guardian figures placed at each side of a shrine or temple entrance; believed to ward off evil spirits. Thought to have been brought to Japan from China via Korea, their name is derived from Koma 高麗, the Japanese term for the Korean kingdom of Koguryo 高句麗.

In the early Heian period (9c) the two statues were clearly distinguished: the figure on the left, called shishi 獅子 (lion), resembled a lion with its mouth open agyou 阿形;
the figure on the right, called komainu 狛犬 (Korean dog), resembled a dog with its mouth closed ungyou 吽形, and sometimes had a horn on its head.
Gradually the term komainu came to be used for both statues, and their shapes became indistinguishable except for the open and closed mouths a-un 阿吽. In the Heian period (9-12c) komainu were used as weights or door-stops for curtains and screens in the Seiryouden 清涼殿, Kyoto Gosho 京都御所.

Other famous examples include a pair of painted wooden komainu (10-11c) at Yakushiji 薬師寺, Nara; 14 painted and lacquered wooden figures at Itsukushima Jinja 厳島神社,(12-14c) Hiroshima prefecture, and the stone figures inside the south gate of Toudaiji 東大寺, Nara, made by the 12c Chinese sculptor Chinnakei 陳和卿.
source : www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus






. Shiisa シーサー Lion Dogs from Okinawa.



- quote -
The term A-un (阿吽) is the transliteration in Japanese of the two syllables "a" and "hūṃ". Written in Devanagari as अहूँ.
The original Sanskrit term
is composed of two letters, the first and the last of the Sanskrit alphabet. Together, they symbolically represent the beginning and the end of all things. In Japanese Mikkyō Buddhism, the letters represent the beginning and the end of the universe.
The term is also used
in Shinto and Buddhist architecture to describe the paired statues common in Japanese religious settings, most notably the Niō and the komainu. In most cases one of the two, the right one, has its mouth open to pronounce the sound "a", while the other has it closed to utter the sound "um". The symbolism is the same already seen. The generic name for statues with an open mouth is agyō (阿形 lit. "a" shape), that for those with a closed mouth ungyō (吽形 lit. "un" shape").
The term a-un
is used figuratively in some Japanese expressions as "a-un breathing" (阿吽の呼吸 a-un no kokyū) or "a-un relationship" (阿吽の仲 a-un no naka), indicating an inherently harmonious relationship or non-verbal communication.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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Komainu Daruma だるま狛犬


source : facebook

市ヶ谷亀岡八幡宮 Kameoka Hachimangu

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. shishigashira 獅子頭 lion head mask .


. koma usagi 狛兎 rabbit statues as guardians at the gate .
Tsuki Jinja 調神社 , Saitama


. koma ...  狛  shrine guardian animals .

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in the limelight
for two seconds -
photographer's luck!



. Shrine Ichi no Miya, Wadakita, Ohaga .
和田北 一宮神社, my local shrine


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HAIKU




郷中の旗押し立てて春祭  
gojuu no hata oshi-tatete haru matsuri

all over my home village
the flags are jostling -
spring festival


丘ひとつすっぽり包む桃の花

常朝
With more photos
source : teisyo.blogspot.com



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

***** . Drums and Gongs .



source : facebook
Tokyo Asakusa Sanja Jinja 浅草『三社神社』 
. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 

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. Join the Komainu Gallery on facebook .
The latest updates are here !

. koma-inu 狛犬 / 高麗犬 / 胡麻犬 "Korean Dog" .
- Introduction -

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3/18/2011

Keta Shrine Kunimuke Festival

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Kunimuke festival (oide matsuri)
Shrine Keta Taisha in Ishikawa

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


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Explanation

Oide matsuri 御出祭 (おいでまつり) "Departure Festival"
(Ode matsuri おでまつり【御出祭】) . 平国(おいで)祭
..... Kunimuke matsuri 平国祭(くにむけまつり)Kunimuke Festival
(Keat Heikunisai 気多平国祭(けたへいこくさい))

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Shrine Keta Jinja 気多神社

CLICK for original link . blog.goo.ne.jp

Keta taisha(気多大社 - Keta Big shrine) is the head shrine of Noto district, in Hakui Town, Ishikawa prefecture.
The deity of this shrine is known as the god of love, and many young women come to wish for good love and marriage.

Dedicated to Oanamuji no mikoto (大己貴命).

Festivals of the shrine: U-matsuri, Hirakuni-matsuri.

Many people have seen UFO flying from the back mountain of this shrine.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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quote
Mogi Sakae wrote:

A shinkōsai 神幸祭 (processional festival) held from March 18 to 23 at Keta Jinja 気多神社, Hakui City 石川県羽咋市 , Ishikawa Prefecture.

CLICK for more photos
能登生國魂神社(氣多本宮) Keta Hongu


The festival name is also read heikokusai 平国祭. It is a rite that recollects the territorial pacification exploits of the saijin (main enshrined kami) Ōnamuchi no mikoto.


CLICK for more photos

A grand procession with a shinme (a horse upon which the kami rides 神馬) at the head makes a round trip from Keta Shrine to Ikukuni tamahiko Shrine 生国魂神社 in Nanao City, a trip of a hundred and several tens of kilometers lasting five nights and six days.

It is said that spring comes to the Noto region with this festival. Although in former times this used to be a rite in which a shin'yo (sacred palanquin) processed around the entire province, it is now limited to the counties of Hakui and Kajima.

In the procession the shinme is in the lead, with long-handled scythes, shrine name flags, rice chests, standards, shishinboko (four-kami pikes, shishin no hoko シジンノホコ 四神矛), bows and arrows, kunimuke hiroboko (wide-bladed kunimuke halberds 広矛(ひろほこ), and mounted priests in front and behind, protecting the shin'yo.

On the first day it travels around the northern area of Hakui County, stopping at Takiya Shrine in Hakui Town.
On the second day, the procession moves around the southern area and stops over night at the Inoyama Shrine in Inoyama Town.
On the third day it enters Kajima District and proceeds to the Noto Ikukunitamahiko Shrine. This is another name for Keta Jingū and is regarded as its original shrine.

When the shin'yo enters the shrine the people who have been accompanying it raise a shout and pour into the shrine precincts (keidai). The mounted priests proceed into the grounds as well.
However, in recent years, it is said that if they fall off their horses there will be an abundant harvest, so it has become quite wild.

On the fourth day they begin their return journey from Nanao to Kajima County, stopping at Shirahiko Shrine in Toriya Town.

On the fifth day they pass through the towns in the Noto area on their return to the main shrine (honsha). This is also called the oide matsuri (Departure Festival). The shin'yo is enshrined in the haiden (worship hall) until the Oisumi reisai (annual festival) on April 3.
Another name for this (latter) festival is the Eye of the Snake Rite (Ja no me shinji) in which a snake eye target representing the great serpent that Ōnamuchi no mikoto vanquished is destroyed with long swords, halberds and bows and arrows.



There is a kunimuke festival on May 21
at Hiraoka Jinja in Higashi Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture
河内枚岡神社.

CLICK for more photos

In addition to the main ritual observance, at present the priests merely wave and offer halberds to the kami. The rite is said to originate in the myth relating the occasion of Nagasunehiko's prevention of Emperor Jinmu's eastern movement over Ikoma Mountain during the latter's pacification campaign of the Yamato region.

Formerly there was a ceremonial event in which participants went into the mountains in the evening to collect wood. Then they ran around striking the shrine buildings and the worship hall with the collected wood before returning home. In pre-modern times this occurred on February 1, but was abolished with the Meiji Resoration.
It was revived in the seventh year of the Taishō era (1918), and since then has been observed on the present festival day.

source : Kokugakuin University. 2006


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Keta Taisha U Matsuri 気多大社鵜祭
Cormorant festival at Shrine Keta Taisha
December 16

CLICK For more photos

Cormorants are set free before the festival and if they came back to the shrine ground, they were captured and set free at the nearby beach again.



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Shrine Sukunahiko no kami kataishi jinja
宿那彦神像石神社(すくなひこのかみかたいし)

CLICK for more photos


Takeminakata no kami 建御名方神(たけみなかたのかみ)
son of Oanamuji no mikoto

. Sukunahikona no mikoto 少彦名命 Sukuna Hikona, Sukuna-Hikona .

These two deities held a comparison of their powers by trying to destroy a poisonous snake from the region.


CLICK for more photos

They used special weapons like sickles, which are in a tree trunk to our day.
鎌の宮神木 kama no miya shingi


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. yakuyoke 厄除け amulet against evil .


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. jinme, shinba, shinme 神馬 sacred horses in Japan   


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***** ukai 鵜飼 (うかい) cormorant fishing


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3/15/2011

Tsunemochi Festival

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Tsunemochi Festival (Tsunemochi matsuri)

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


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Explanation

Tsunemochi matsuri 恒持祭 (つねもちまつり)
Tsunemochi festival


Yamada no haru matsuri 山田の春祭り
Spring festival of Yamada


Second Sunday in March
(It used to be the 15th day of the third lunar month.)

At shrine Tsunemochi Jinja 恒持神社 in Chichibu, Saitama.


source and more photos : kanto/yamada

One "flower float (kasaboko 笠鉾) is pulled around the town. It is decorated with paper flowers. Three other festival floats (yatai 屋台) are also in the parade.
When they reach the shrine, there are dance performances.
The wheels of the floats are lubricated with green onion leaves, to remind people of the hard times when oil was not available.

With a performance of Tsunemochi Shrine Kagura dance 恒持神社神楽.
Children in colorful robes also perform traditional dances on the floats.

At night, they are illuminated and fireworks held in the shrine compound.

This festival is to ward off evil and prevent insects from harming the harvest for the coming year.

The mountainous Chichibu region is famous for its many festivals. This is one of the larger ones and brings spring to the region.

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source : matsuri/cat

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Tsunemochi Jinja 恒持神社 in Chichibu, Saitama.
秩父市山田1606

This present shrine was erected in 1908, when three local shrines were grouped together.

It is also said to be in honor of prince Tsunemochi Oo 恒望王, brother of the famous Heike leader Takamochi Oo 高望王 (Taira no Takamochi 平高望) around 889.
His office was at Araki 新木, now the shrine is located here.

The deity in residence is a god of water 水の神, who provides water from the top of Mount Takashinoyama 高篠山. At the spring near the top of the mountain is the Dragon Shrine 竜神社 Ryuu jinja.


quote
The Taira (Heishi 平氏) were one of the four important clans that dominated Japanese politics during the Heian period (794-1185) -
the others were the Fujiwara, the Tachibana and the Minamoto.
The Kammu Heishi line, founded in 889 by Taira no Takamochi (a great-grandson of the 50th Kammu tenno, reigned 781-806), proved to be the most strong and dominant line during the late Heian period with Taira no Kiyomori eventually forming the first samurai dominated government in the history of Japan.
A great-grandson of Heishi Takamochi, Taira no Korihira, moved to Ise Province (now part of Mie Prefecture) and established a major daimyo dynasty.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



. WKD : Taira no Kiyomori 平 清盛 .


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***** . OBSERVANCES – SPRING SAIJIKI .


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2/08/2011

Court ceremonies SPRING

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Court Ceremonies in Spring

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Spring
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

The court ceremonies date back to the Heian period.

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Kinensai 祈念祭 (きねんさい) Kinensai ritual
Ritual at the beginning of the year

toshigoi no matsuri 年祈いの祭(としごいのまつり)
observance kigo for early spring

February 4
Performed by the imperial officials (jingikan, kamizukasa 神祇官 )
Prayers for a good harvest and peace of the country are offered to the deities.

This ritual has been revived after the Meiji restauration.


. . . CLICK here for Photos !


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Reken, rekken 列見 (れけん) Reken ritual
observance kigo for mid-spring

On the 11th day of the second lunar month.
Now February 11.

Audience of high officials with the Emperor, since the Heian period.
The audience is held in the park. According to the behaviour of the officials their rank was confirmed.
The officials wore flowers in their headgear.


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Shunki kooreisai 春季皇霊祭 (しゅんきこうれいさい)
spring commemoration for the Imperial Spirits)

..... kooreisai 皇霊祭(こうれいさい)Koreisai ritual
observance kigo for mid-spring

21st day of the third lunar month

The present emperor performs rituals for all the other emperors before him.
It used to be a public holiday until WW II.
Now it is celebrates on the day of the spring equinox.




There is another Koreisai ritual in autumn 秋季皇霊祭.
(23 of September)


. Spring Equinox, haru higan, 春彼岸 .


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列見や菊石引伸す烏帽子の緒

Kikaku 其角 


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


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