Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fukagawa Hachimangu Matsuri

Today Candice, James and I decided to take in a Matsuri (Festival) we had fall-back plans if we got too heat stressed , but the day dawned with only 23 degrees and overcast, decidedly cool.
The festival we planned (or it is on when we are here!) was the Fukagawa Hachimangu. This is one of Tokyo's Big Three with 54 portable Shrines (Mikoshi), carried from the Shrine along the main street, and the carriers and their followers have water thrown over them to cool them down; and also to purify the shrine, but not sure if that is appreciated now!
I was wondering how people managed to get water to throw, but there are organised stands with bucket brigades or even hoses. We ended up opposite a water stand without initially realising, but they didn't have a hose just buckets so we didn't get wet. As the shrine approaches with a team in front of musicians or dancers, then the shrine, carried by about 40 men (and a few women) and following them is the relief team, all who get showered with water as they pass the stand. They must have been cold after several bucketings.
There were also informal groups along the way. This group was well organised and well into the spirit of it!

video

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