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Kure City , Hiroshima
(Yutaka-machi)
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Yagura Matsuri (yagura festival) ~Mitarai district~    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 22 minutes
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The Yagura Matsuri (yagura festival), which is held on the fourth Saturday of July every year in the Mitarai district, starts with the setting up of the yagura by the festival group members early in the morning among the buzzing of cicadas. Around midday, "Dedachi" starts at the ruins of Waka-ebisuya. The festival group members line up and signal the start of the festival by singing "Yagura Ondo." The daytime yagura parades around almost the entire area within the district. Small alleys and sharp corners appear one after another along the procession of the yagura, where it skims the edges of eaves manipulated by the bearers with perfectly synchronized movements. The childrens yagura follows the procession of the adults yagura. The "Hiru-mawashi (day-time procession)" completes its procession when it arrives at Sumiyoshi Shrine. Because the yagura used in the "Yo-mawashi (nightly procession)" is moved about roughly, its decorations are all taken off and it is decorated with bamboo leaves purified with sea water instead. The yagura is deliberately and suddenly slammed to the ground during the "Yo-mawashi," and these actions are so rough that some bearers may become injured unless the timing of the bearers is perfectly synchronized. The riders of the yagura keep on beating the drum even when the yagura is slammed down. Finally, rice cakes are thrown to the crowd in a demonstration of gratitude to them, and the festival is brought to an end.

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