Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Tsurugashima City , Saitama Related category:
Suneori Amagoi - The Living Wisdom of our Ancestors    

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Entire story: 19 minutes
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The Suneori Amagoi is a rain-making ritual handed down from the Edo Period (1603-1867), involving the snake figure called Ryuda. It is made of bamboo and straw and has a length of 36 meters and a weight of three tons. The Ryuda is transformed into a Ryujin (a snake god) at the hands of the priests of the Shirahige Shrine. Then, about 300 men carry the Ryujin, chanting "Amefure tanjaku, kokoni kakare kurokumo" (Come rain, come dark cloud!) for a distance of about two kilometers from the shrine to the Kandachigaike pond. They perform a ritual of rain-making in the pond and then break up the snake figure. It is said that the activity is to make the Ryujin in heaven angry by soiling the sacred Kandachigaike pond so as to bring rain. It used to be performed only in years of drought on an irregular basis but it is now performed every four years, in the same year as the Olympic Games, on the first Sunday of August.

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