Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Ogano-machi , Saitama Related category:
Weather fortune telling of Izusawa Saitama Prefectures Selected Intangible Folk Cultural Property    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 28 minutes
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In Izuzawa block of Ogano-machi located in Chichibu region, west of Saitama Prefecture, in a Japanese cedar grove where Suwa Shrine is located, Yumi-Mato no Shinji (divine service of bow and target) is held. By this divine service, the weather of each month of the year is forecasted. It is said that the divine service originated at the beginning of the Edo period, which coincides with the Kanei period when Suwa Shrine was erected to the spirit of a deity. Since then, the divine service has been constantly performed for about 350 years. The bow is made of peach wood, the arrow, of shinodake (thin bamboo), and hemp chord. The target of about 2 meters in diameter is shot by three persons. A total of 12 arrows are shot, the first arrow for January, the second arrow for February, and so on, and the weather for one year is forecasted. When the arrow hits the white portion of the target, the month has many fine days, and the black portion means many rainy days. When the arrow misses the target, wind or storm is forecasted. In the past, people sowed crops in accordance with this weather forecasting.

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