Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mikoshi festival in Autumn.

Autumn season is a time celebrates of the Mikoshi traditional festival in Japan. Mikoshi of the (portable shrine) one of the god live in village. Gumizaki is a fishing village in Fukui prefecture is located near the Japan Sea, about 200km north from Osaka.
Every year in autumn, Gumizaki fishing villagers celebrates Mikoshi festival which festival has started two hundreds years ago, in Edo period. Inside the village, there are two shrines. One is in the mountain side and other is seaside. The two gods is a loved couple, and only the festival time, they can stay together. Villagers bring the god of the mountain shrine to the seaside shrine, using Mikoshi (portable shrine) at the beginning of the festival, so that the two gods can stay together during festival time.
During the festival time, villagers play traditional music and dances all around the village. There’s strict rule about each dance and other ceremonies; for example women are prohibited to go mountain side and cannot carry Mikoshi. Older people teach young boys and girls how to dance and perform ceremonies. It is good opportunity to maintain communication among many generations and tell traditional system to young generation.
“However it is becoming more and more difficult to maintain this kind of festival, because of the shortage of people. As young people tend to move toward town to get job, the population of this village is less and less year by year. More than 30 people are needed to carry Mikoshi but there’s not so much young people in this village. They invite non-villagers to the festival to carry Mikoshi. One of a neighbor village decided not to carry Mikoshi anymore because of shortage of people said one of old fisherman”.
They bring the Mikoshi to the spectators while bouncing it up and down as everybody chants, "wa shai! wa shai! wa shai!
The children are carrying the small mikoshi too.

1 comment:

Jj said...

nice ... i've seen this festival before in nat.Geo...

nice pic ;)