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Tamamura-machi , Gunma Related category:
Suijinmatsuri (Water God Festival) of Goryo    



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Entire story: 27 minutes
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Suijinmatsuri is a festival for the god of water who was enshrined together at Iidama Shrine in Goryo. The festival used to be held on July 25 but is presently held, in principle, on the last Sunday of July. Goryo, where the Tone and Karasu Rivers meet, used to be a village of boatmen and had two riverfronts in the Edo period. Suijinmatsuri is said to have originated from a prayer for preventing water accidents.

Presently, on a Sunday one week before the festival, using straw and green bamboo logs, an exact replica of the real boat about 7 meters long is made on the shrine precinct. On the day of the festival, children pull the boat around the entire region with it placed in a bicycle cart, and dusk falls, the straw boat is carried by adults and set adrift on the Tone River. Suijinmatsuri was chosen by the state in 2002 as an intangible folk cultural property for which measures such as the preparation of records must be taken.

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