Mikoshi in Gumyoji

Hubs and I doesn’t really keep ourselves updated with the community billboard hence it came as a surprise to us when we went out the house and met some Mikoshi-costumed people and heard the boom of drums a few minutes after.

Right around the end of August, just when the peak of summer has just passed and temperatures have started to drop a bit, Mikoshi (神輿) parades are held all over Japan. The Mikoshi is actually a sacred palanquin where the spirits or diety of that particular festival are ceremoniously enshrined. Mind you, the mikoshis really are elaborately designed.

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The Mikoshi is carried around by the people taking part in the parade.

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The sacred palanquins are preceded by the drums, announcing its passage.

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I once participated in a Mikoshi parade back in 2007 and interestingly enough, it was also here in Gumyoji. I can’t say though that I’d do it again. We didn’t wear tabi (足袋 or たび or the traditional Japanese socks) though like what this year’s participants did.

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And it seems more elaborate this year because the priest paraded with the group.

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Yeah there’s a high probability that I just didn’t notice the priest parading with us back then, laden as we are with the Mikoshi (yes, it is heavy!). But I do believe this year’s Mikoshi is more festive, more passionate, more feverish than it was years before. I could think of one reason why it is so but whether I’m right or wrong, it makes me happy that this kind of tradition that has been around for centuries is still going as strong as ever.

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