Chichibu yo-matsuri


Chichibu yo-matsuri
   The 'night festival' of Chichibu, Saitama, held on 2-3rd December. It is renowned for magnificent festival floats (dashi) which are dragged through the streets and finally pulled with great effort up a steep slope to the o-tabisho, followed by the mikoshi and accompanying Shinto priests. The kami of the Chichibu city shrine is identified with myoken, a bodhisattva widely 'Shinto-ised' after the Meiji restoration with the name hoshi or pole-star. Kabuki and a dance called hiki-odori are performed on the floats during the day. At night, with a display of fireworks overhead and liberal distribution of sake, participants celebrate with lantern-lit floats the union of the 'female' kami of the city's shrine with the 'male' kami of the nearby mountain who also takes up residence in the o-tabisho.

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. .

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