|Fukuoka City , Fukuoka||üíRelated category:|
|Hakata Gion Yamakasa Gyoji|
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This is one of the most popular festivals in Japan, the history of which goes back to the Gion Goryoe in Kyoto that started in the Heian period (794-1192). According to the shaden (traditional shrine history) of Kushida Shrine, this festival was started in the Kamakura period (1192-1333) by a priest called Shoichi Kokushi, who was the founder of Jotenji Temple. The legend goes that the priest went to the town carried on a segakidana shelf and sprinkled holy water along the way to drive away an epidemic. There was a time when yamakasa (floats) 10 meters high, decorated with hakata ningyo dolls were carried along the streets. However, as they tended to cut electric wires, hikiyama (carried floats) were created instead. Presently the Yamakasa gyoji is performed from July 1 to 15. At 4:59 am on July 15, at the cue of the sound of drums, the gallant oiyama race starts and rushes around the streets of Hakata. In the precincts of Kushida Shrine, a kazariyamakasa is permanently exhibited.
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