Gion Matsuri

by / on July 6, 2013 at 5:55 PM / in Gion Matsuri, Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Taishi-Yama (太子山) During the Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り) in Kyoto, 2012!

The Taishi-Yama (太子山) float is dedicated to Shotoku Taishi who was a prince during the Asuka period in Japan, and is thus named for him. The Taishi-yama (太子山) is unique for being the only float in the Gion festival that has a central wooden pole made from Japanese cedar, and not from the commonly used pine. The use of cedar […]

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by / on July 6, 2013 at 5:42 PM / in Gion Matsuri, Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Shijo-Kasa-Hoko (四条傘鉾) During the Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り) in Kyoto, 2012!

The Shijo-Kasa-Hoko (四条傘鉾) float features a parasol framed with dyed fabric decoration, and is accompanied by young stick twirlers and musicians during the Gion festival procession. In addition, the Shijo-Kasa-Hoko (四条傘鉾) float is unique for having originated before the Onin Wars (1467-1477), and is believed to be a prototype of the other Gion festival floats. Though repeatedly burned down and […]

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by / on July 6, 2013 at 4:20 PM / in Gion Matsuri, Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Kakkyo-Yama (郭巨山) During the Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り) in Kyoto,2012!

The Kakkyo-Yama (郭巨山) float, also known as Kama-hori-yama (literally “pot-digging float”), is named after “Kakkyo”, the central character of one of the stories of the “Twenty-four Filial Exemplars”, a classic text of Confucian clerical piety from China. The character Kakkyo, who lived during the later Han Dynasty (China) in the first to the third century, was impoverished to the point […]

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by / on July 6, 2013 at 4:08 PM / in Gion Matsuri, Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Houka-Hoko (放下鉾) During the Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り) in Kyoto, 2012!

The Houka-Hoko (放下鉾) float derives its name from the small image of a Hoka-so priest near the middle of its center pole. Hoka-so appeared in the mid-Muromachi period (15th century) and are groups of Buddhist monks who traveled from place to place in rural Japan entertaining local people by performing a variety of stunts for the purpose of disseminating their […]

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by / on July 6, 2013 at 3:51 PM / in Gion Matsuri, Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Hakuga-Yama (伯牙山) During the Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り) in Kyoto,2012!

The Hakuga-Yama (伯牙山) float Koma also called Kotowari-yama (literally “Koto-breaking float”), is based upon a famous story of friendship that took place in Chu Kingdom (present day central and southern China) during the Zu Dynasty. The holy doll on the Hakuga-Yama (伯牙山) float is Hakuga, a master of the koto, which is a zither-like Asian harp. One day while taking […]

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by / on July 6, 2013 at 3:38 PM / in Gion Matsuri, Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Ashikari-Yama (芦刈山) During the Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り) in Kyoto, 2012!

The Ashikari-Yama (芦刈山) float is based on the Noh drama “Ashikari” (the Reed cutter). An old man, separated from his wife, is cutting reeds by an inlet in Naniwa (now Osaka). The story expresses the harmony between husband and wife as they are eventually reunited. The original head on the doll was created by the sculptor Ko-un in 1537, whose […]

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by / on July 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM / in Gion Matsuri, Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Arare Tenjin Yama (天神山) During the Gion Matsuri (祇園祭り) in Kyoto, 2012!

Some 500 years ago, when a large fire broke out in Kyoto, hail suddenly fell from the sky and extinguished the fierce fire. Along with the hail stones a small image of Tenjin, the heavenly god of thunder, is also said to have fallen from heaven, which was the divine incarnation of Sugawara no Michizane, a renowned scholar and statesman […]

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