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Aoi Matsuri (Aoi Festival) » Mikage Matsuri (Mikage Festival) at Mikage Shrine, procession of bow and arrow bearers on the forest path leaving the shrine
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Item Details
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Title
Aoi Matsuri (Aoi Festival) » Mikage Matsuri (Mikage Festival) at Mikage Shrine, procession of bow and arrow bearers on the forest path leaving the shrine
Work Type
documentary photographs
Date
May 12, 1992
Location
Location: Yase; Kyoto; Kyoto; Japan; Asia; Variant: Hase, Yasego
Creation/Discovery Site: Asia»Japan»Kyoto»Kyoto»Yase
Mikage Jinja
Description
Work Description: AOI MATSURI: During the Aoi festival, believed to be Kyoto’s oldest Shinto festival, an Imperial Messenger visits both of the Kamo Shrines (Kamigamo and Shimogamo). The festival is said to have started during the reign of the Emperor Kinmei (540-571) when rites to appease the kami (deities) were performed at the Shrines after severe storms had destroyed the harvests. Thereafter, officials are said to have paid regular visits to pray for abundant grain harvests. The festival probably assumed its present importance after the capital was transferred to Kyoto in 794 and it may have symbolized an agreement between pre-existing clans to provide a peaceful environment for the Emperor’s new abode. The festival’s name is derived from the Aoi flower, related to the hollyhock, which is used to decorate costumes and ceremonies during the event. The Aoi Festival is today one of Kyoto’s three famous big festivals, and attracts tourists from all over the country. The festival procession, traditionally consisting of ox-drawn carts, horses with golden saddles, and participants dressed in the most formal Heian costumes decorated with hollyhock (aoi) leaves, sets out from the Kyoto Imperial Palace and makes its way through the Tadasu-no-mori forest toward the Kamigamo Shrine via Shimogamo Shrine. The main festival takes place on May 15th, but a number of related events are of equal importance. Chief among these is the ritual to bring the deities from their rock abodes into the respective shrines for the event. During the deities’ residence in the shrines, a number of events are organized to entertain them. Today these events begin at the beginning of the month but in earlier times the span of the festival may have been greater. MIKAGE MATSURI: During the Mikage Festival, Shimogamo priests visit the small Mikage Shrine to escort the deities (kami) from their living mountain abode to the actual Shimogamo Shrine precincts for the Aoi Festival. En route, the procession pauses at Akanomiya Shrine. The festival is presently held on May 12th, a few days before the Aoi Festival itself. Shrine priests, attendants and Shinto musicians, dressed in Heian Period costumes, assemble at Mikage Shrine in the village of Yase in the foothills of Mount Hiei in the early morning. Formerly many of the participating dignitaries arrived on horseback and the deities were solemnly transported on a white horse to Shimogamo’s Kawai Shrine. Postwar modernization has rendered this impractical and the participants now travel in several minibuses and the deities are transported on the back of a small pick-up truck to Kawai Shrine. For the last part of the event, the solemn procession from Kawai Shrine through the Tadasu-no-mori (Tadasu Forest) to the main precincts of Shimogamo Shrine, the deity is moved on the back of a white horse. Once the deities have been brought into the inner shrine they are considered formally in residence at the shrine. The ceremonial procession and festival takes the entire day.
Subject
Japanese;East Asian;Asian;Shinto
SC Accession
498179D
SC Order
ord025519
Rights
Image and scholarly information provided by David Boggett. Cataloging provided by Smith College Imaging Center, Department of Art, Hillyer Hall, Northampton, MA 01063; Elisa Lanzi, Director; voice: 413-585-3106; fax: 413-585-3119; elanzi@smith.edu. To use this image for purposes outside of the ARTstor Terms and Conditions of Use, please contact: David Boggett, davidboggett@Yahoo.co.uk. ©David Boggett. Universal
This image was provided by Smith College; Smith College only; Limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only.
Image and scholarly information provided by David Boggett. Cataloging provided by Smith College Imaging Center, Department of Art, Hillyer Hall, Northampton, MA 01063; To use this image for purposes outside of the ARTstor Terms and Conditions of Use, please contact: David Boggett, davidboggett@Yahoo.co.uk. ©David Boggett. Universal
This image has been selected and made available by a user using Artstor's software tools. Artstor has not screened or selected this image or cleared any rights to it and is acting as an online service provider pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §512. Artstor disclaims any liability associated with the use of this image. Should you have any legal objection to the use of this image, please visit http://www.artstor.org/copyright for contact information and instructions on how to proceed.
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File Properties
File Name
16151802.fpx
SSID
16151802

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