Saturday, November 1, 2014

Autumn Matsuri 2014 part 3


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On the sunday morning all signs of the previous night had disappeared and ceremonies were held. The first took place in front of a side altar. There was no musical accompaniment. After reading out a norito, the priest then read out the names of the handful of us who were taking part. We were then purified with an onusa and one by one called up and given a drink of omiki and a part of the mochi that had been used as offerings to the kami. The folded paper also contained some grains of the rice that had also been on the altar.

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The next ceremony was a much grander affair with taiko and flute accompaniment. The village elders set offering upon the elder and norito were read, Once again there was purification. At the end of the ceremony the kami was transfered into the mikoshi which had been brought into the shrine.

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When I first moved to the village I asked about the mikoshi and was told that there were not enough men nowadays to be able to carry the mikoshi. A recent survey of villagers showed that the villagers wanted the mikoshi procession to be revived. This was the first time in 14 years.

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The mikoshi was really heavy as we carefully manhandled it down the steep steps. From the shrine it was then carried around the village. The roads where we passed were lined with a simple shimenawa. In the middle of the village another short ceremony was performed. The priests and musicians followed along.

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Many of the older people who came out of their houses as the mikoshi passed were really pleased to see the mikoshi again. Once acrried back up the shrine steps and deposited back in the shrine we all shared some more omiki.

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