Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Misato Town , Saitama Related category:
Doso-jin Yaki in Hirokibanba    

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Entire story: 28 minutes
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In Hirokibanba area, Misato Town, "Doso-jin Yaki (fire festival for guardian deities for the community)" is held every year as a lunar New Year event. It has been permanently handed down since the Edo Period (1603-1868). Although it used to be conducted by children, as the birthrate continues to decline, adult members of the preservation society are supporting it these days. It's considerably similar to "Dondo fire festivals," which are held nationwide, in terms of the period and so on. First, Wood hewed out from the mountains, fallen leaves, straws and the like are gathered and constructed into a 3-meter circular cone. The floor is dug down to make a cavity which can contain 4 or 5 children. Afterwards, the children go around houses saying, "We are collecting decorations and donation!" collect items used during the New Year events such as talismans, daruma dolls, New Year decorations and kadomatsu (gate pines), and decorate them around their hut. Next, they go around and announce, "We will burn them for Doso-jin!" While people are getting together, the children go inside, make offerings, "clap their hands," and light the fire. When the fire goes down, pieces of "mayudama (a kind of rice dumpling)" are grilled in the kindled fire. It's said that people who have eaten one can live for the year in the state of perfect health.

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