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Aoi Matsuri (Aoi Festival) » Procession leaving Kyoto Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace), aoi flower decorated parasol
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Item Details
Public
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Title
Aoi Matsuri (Aoi Festival) » Procession leaving Kyoto Gosho (Kyoto Imperial Palace), aoi flower decorated parasol
Work Type
documentary photographs
Date
May 15, 1993
Location
Creation/Discovery Site: Asia»Japan»Kyoto»Kyoto
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Description
Work Description: The main festival on May 15th consists of a procession of the Imperial Messenger (chokushi) from the Imperial Palace (gosho), first to Shimogamo and then to Kamigamo Shrines. It takes a full day for all the attendant rituals to be enacted. Besides the Imperial Messenger, the Saiin and her entourage, bearers of Imperial gifts to the deities, and other functionaries are fitted into the lengthy procession, which takes about 20 minutes to pass a given spot from beginning to end. A number of ox-cart carriages (the rather ungainly form of transport favored by the Heian aristocracy) are also included. Due to the lack of accompanying music, it is a surprisingly silent affair. 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.
Subject
Japanese;East Asian;Asian;Shinto
SC Accession
498693D
SC Order
ord025529
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.
License
Use of this image is in accordance with the Artstor Terms & Conditions
File Properties
File Name
16165666.fpx
SSID
16165666

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