Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Sakuragawa City , Ibaraki
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Rituals of the Goshokomagataki Shrine - the Gion Festival and the Facilitator System    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 27 minutes
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The summer festival of the Goshokomagataki Shrine, held from July 23 to 26, is said to have been started about 400 years ago, at the beginning of the Edo Period (1603-1867), by a Machidoshiyori (a town official) in imitation of the Gionmatsuri festival of Kyoto. The festival is organized by the facilitator system called the Sewanin seido, which has a hierarchy of Sewaninn, Churo, and Tairo. The five shrine parishioners, including the Takajo-machi, Naka-machi, Kamijiku-cho, Shinjiku-cho, Shimoshoku-cho (four parishioners at present) each has four Sewanin. The sewanins costumes are strictly stipulated. They wear a straw boater, black Haori coat, and white Tabi socks. The strict rules for running the festival are well observed just as they used to be, and such issues as the way meetings are carried out, the route of the miniature shrines and floats, and the handover procedure are all meticulously formulated. This festival was selected as one of the Intangible Cultural Properties that should be recorded by the Government in 1986.

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