I have done a lot of thinking recently and have decided that Wednesday should be Japan post day on my blog. As my love for Japan and all things Japanese continues to drive and inspire me in my work and life, I thought it would be interesting to write a regular series of posts about Japan and its culture. Some of these posts may relate directly to my time and experiences in Japan while others may be posts with information on cultural events/places to see/things to do…we shall have to wait and see how it evolves!
Today I thought I would start with a traditional event/festival that will be happening in Kyoto on September 7, 2008:
Hassaku-sai | September 7, 2008
Matsuo Taisha Jinja (Matsuo Taisha Shrine), Kyoto
1. Matsuo Taisha torii, 2. Matsuo Taisha main building 01, 3. Matsuo Taisha front gate*
Hassaku-sai is an annual festival held on the first Sunday of September at Matsuo Taisha Shrine, Kyoto to ask the gods for mild weather to ensure a good harvest. In the old lunar calendar the term hassaku (a shortened version of hachigatsu sakuhi) refers to the first day of the eighth lunar month when there is no moon.
The festival involves a procession of portable shrines (mikoshi) carried by children dressed in costume, followed by Buddhist dance and a sumo wrestling tournament. At night, one thousand paper lanterns are lit in the grounds of the shrine and local people perform a folk dance. There are also many street stalls set up on the day of the festival.
You can get to Matsuo Taisha Shrine by taking bus #28 or by walking a short distance (approx. 1min) from Matsuo Station (Hankyu line).
(*Please Note: These images by MShades have been used under the Creative Commons license)