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Enlivening the Summer of Wakasa with Hayashi - Obama Hoze Matsuri    



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Entire story: 43 minutes
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Hachiman Shrine at the foot of Mt. Nochise, where the hojoe festival is performed, is a major regional shrine. In the Kamakura period (1192-1333), it was named one of the chinju daimyojin, and revered as the noblest shrine after the Wakasa Ichinomiya. In the hojoe held in the medieval period, kangen (a gagaku piece without music) and yabusame (Japanese archery performed while mounted on a horse) were dedicated, but in the early modern period, such entertainments as Shinji-noh (Shinto Noh), kangen, and sumo were dedicated. The features dedicated in the annual festival (although the hojo ritual is not actually performed, it has been customarily known as a hojoe from olden times) held on September 14-15 every year (it has been changed to the third Saturday and Sunday of September since 2004) have a long history. It was originally dedicated on the occasion in 1638 when three mikoshi (miniature shrines) of Gion, which had been brought to the region to take part in the Gion goryoe (Gion sairei emaki) festival held at Hiromine Shrine in Chigusa, were returned. It used to be a gorgeous event in which each town competed and which featured such entertainments as kasahoko, bofuri, odaiko, kagura, hanaguruma, hikiyama, as well as an ingenious masquerade parade which went round the streets. However, after the Meiji Restoration, only features dedicated to Hachiman Shrines hojoe were allowed, and, in 1874, upon the reorganization of the town districts, the contents of the ceremony were forced to be drastically reduced. In recent years, the features were fixed to be performed by a total of 24 districts (5 for odaiko, 9 for dashi, 4 for shishimai (unpinjishi), 5 for kagura and one for mikoshi) and a set of 12 districts performs the procession every other year in turn and dedicates these traditional Shinto arts at the front of the shrine and headquarters of each district, accompanied by cheerful matsuri bayashi music. Once described in "Wakasa-ko" as having a gion-e procession that was a grandiose occasion matching the fe

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