- The fire festival (hi-matsuri) celebrated on 14th July at the Kumano Nachi taisha. The waterfall of Nachi which is the highest in Japan has been the venue since ancient times for ascetic practices of a mainly Buddhist or shugendo character (see entry on Misogi). Numerous Buddhist temples around the shrine were destroyed in the shinbutsu-bunri attacks following the Meiji restoration, but the site is traditionally identified with Kannon bosatsu. The shrine now houses twelve gongen each of whom is carried in a mikoshi to the waterfall during the festival. The deities are welcomed by twelve large fiery torches from the associated hiryu ('flying waterfall') jinja.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.