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Isahaya City , Nagasaki Related category:
Tatamiyaburi festival of Hachiman Shrine - A prayer for a good health    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 16 minutes
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The proper name of this festival, that is known and cherished by the common name of "Tatamiyaburi" or breaking tatami mats, is "Grand Festival of Hachiman Shrine." It is held in the precincts of Hachiman Shrine in Shirahama-machi, Isahaya City, on Coming-of-Age day (the second Monday of January) every year.
After the ritual, a group of young parishioners who have been waiting in the nearby community hall rush into the precincts taking their cue from the sound of drums being played. As the entrance to the main hall of the shrine is blocked by tatami mats, there is a battle between the youngsters who try to rush in and the ones to prevent them. Once the youngsters have broken the tatami mats and rushed into the hall, they tear the mats and pull out the straws to rub on each others bodies, thereby praying for health for the coming year.
After this event, the priest shoots five arrows into a target in the shape of the moon and the sun in order to perform an augury for the years fortune.

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