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Kure City , Hiroshima
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Autumn Festival ~Kubi district~    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 25 minutes
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The great autumn festival of Shinohara Shrine, which is the grand local tutelary of the Kubi district, is held on the first Saturday of October every year. All of the residents of the district attend the festival, helping to make the festival even more exciting. The festival starts with the "Shuki Taisai Shinji (shinji of the great autumn festival)" where elementary school students acting as miko (priestesses) perform the "Urayasu no mai (the dance of Urayasu)." Then the "Ujiko Matsuri (ujiko festival)" takes place. This is an event in which babies born during the year visit the shrine for the first time to become members of the ujiko (shrine parishioners). The "Kadoide" is performed by the mikoshi (portable shrine) bearers when they parade from the homes of the representatives of the East and the West to the shrine as they sing the Ise Ondo. When the mikoshi bearers arrive at the shrine, the "Miyadashi" shinji (god worshipping ritual) is performed to have the "kodomo mikoshi (childrens portable shrine)," "onna mikoshi (womens portable shrine)," and "otona mikoshi (adults portable shrine)" pulled out to the shrine premises. While the mikoshi are being pulled out, a shishimai (lion dance) is performed together with music played by Japanese flutes and drums in the shrine premises. The festival is brought to its height as the parade proceeds into the town area to visit each household where they are welcomed. In the evening, the mikoshi are placed in the "otabidokoro," the shinji is performed, and then the yagura parades around the town once again. The otona mikoshi is refused entry to the shrine premises several times in the "Miyaire" event and is finally allowed to enter after several attempts. The festival ends with an event involving the throwing of rice cakes to the audience.

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