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Hitachiota City , Ibaraki Related category:
Nishi Kanasa Shrine Isode Dai Sairei (Isode great festival)    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 47 minutes
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The sairei (festival) of Nishi Kanasa Shrine is held once every 72 years. The sairei has been held 16 times in the past, and this is the 17th. This sairei is a shinji (god worshipping ritual) whose history has continued for approximately 1,200 years. It is a great festival in which the festival parade walks the round trip between Nishi Kanasa Shrine and Mizukihama covering a distance of 75 km over seven days while performing shinji and dengaku music and dances at several destinations during the course of the journey based on the legend that the saijin (the god of the shrine) Onamuchi no Mikoto arrived at Mizukihama of Hitachi on an abalone boat. The parade consists of Sarutahiko, dengaku-shi (dengaku music players and dancers), chigo (children who attend festival parades), seishi (men wearing costumes of blue-colored samurai costumes), sagari-ha (ohayashi musical band), the leader of ujiko (shrine parishioners), yamagoe mikoshi (yamagoe portable shrine), omikoshi (the grand portable shrine), and priests in this order and it can total as many as 530 persons. This grand parade is said to be performed for the purpose of heightening the dignity of the god and as a form of prayer for social stability and peace among mankind.

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