- Autumn festivals. A broad category of matsuri overlapping with natsu (summer) matsuri. They are held in late summer/ autumn mainly to thank the kami for the rice or other harvest. In the past aki-matsuri were often preceded by a month of taboo or abstention (imi) which coincided with the kami-na-zuki (month without kami). Examples of aki-matsuri include the mega-no-kenka matsuri (clash of deer festival) at Matsubara Hachimangu, Hyogo on October 14-15th in which three mikoshi collide with each other as they are carried through the streets. At the Kameyama Hachiman aki-matsuri in Ikeda-cho, Kagawa, mikoshi with five layers of large cushions (zabuton) are whirled around. Notable examples of autumn festivals with public processions include the Hachinohe sanja taisai (grand rite of the three shrines (Ogami jinja, Shinra jinja and Shinmei-gu) of Hachinohe, Aomori from August 1st-3rd, in which kabuki and folk tale scenes are performed on elaborate floats. The Morioka Hachimangu matsuri (September 14-16th) features yatai floats with dolls representing Japanese heroes in a parade accompanied by drummers. In the Horai matsuri at Kinkengu jinja, Ishikawa on October 2nd-3rd, huge four-metre high 'dolls' are displayed, decorated with harvest produce such as rice, chestnuts, carrots and aubergines. For shrine rites associated with autumn see Kanname-sai.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.