Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hiwasa Hachiman Shrine


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In the morning of the tenth day of my walk along the Shikoku Pilgrimage I came into the small fishing port and town of Hiwasa. Right next door to a museum displaying information about the turtles who lay eggs in the area was the local Hachiman Shrine.

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It was not a very big shrine, but had the usual collection of big trees, komainu, shimenawa, ema, zuijin, etc, some of which are shown here. However there were 7 very large storage sheds, each of which held a "chosa", a kind of matsuri float often translated as Taiko Yattai. Each one weighed more than ton and held a taiko drum and several drummers. They are carried on  huge frames made of giant bamboo measuring about 6 x 6 meters.

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Each chosa is carried by members of each of the seven communities that make up the town, and along with the mikoshi are paraded around the shrine grounds before being carried down to the sea into which they are dipped to ensure good fortune for the fishermen.

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The Hiwasa Hachiman Aki Matsuri takes pleace each October.

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