tenjin matsuri, 2010


This year for Tenjin Matsuri I decided to skip the boat parade and see the 1,ooo-year-old Rikutogyo (陸渡御) procession instead.  This procession involves some 3,000 participants who parade from Osaka’s Tenmangu shrine to the Okawa river, where the two golden mikoshi (portable shrines) are ultimately deposited on the boats that will take them up and down the river as part of the Tenjin Matsuri flotilla.  The procession itself is absolutely incredible and involves non-stop performances of traditional sacred music and dance, the presentation of sacred objects on portable shrines, a colorful umbrella dance that involves hundreds of people, a special Tenmangu danjiri car, the mikoshi themselves, the red-hatted Taiko-naka drummers, and the Tengu-like Sarudahiko (猿田彦) that leads the parade and opens the way for the gods to follow.  If you want to learn more about this amazing event, the city of Osaka has put together an incredible page that includes a huge amount of video footage of the festival, as well as in-depth explanations about the festival’s history and the significance of the performances, objects, and rituals involved.

For more posts about Tenjin Matsuri — 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009


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