Saturday, November 21, 2009
The ninth, and final, matsuri I went to in October was in Waki-cho, a seaside village that is part of Gotsu.
Earlier in the afternoon we stopped by a bunch of shrines in the area that were all having their matsuri that night. While we were at the shrine in Waki there was a ceremony going on for all the people of the village that had turned 60 years of age that year. The Chinese dating system that the Japanese adopted is based on 60 year cycles, the 12 animals times the 5 elements, so 60 is the end of one complete cycle and holds special significance.
That night at the matsuri I saw something I'd not seen at any other matsuri. Elevated "boxes", protected from the weather and with views over the crowds to the kagura stage. These were for all those elders who had become 60 that year. A nice touch I thought.
The matsuri was well attended, though Waki no longer has its own kagura group, one from Hamada was performing. All the streets of the village had the shimenawa running along them, and a lot of matsuri banners were flying from peoples houses.
This will probably be the last post on kagura for a while :)