Gion Matsuri

by / on July 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM / in Gion Matsuri, Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Abura Tenjin Yama (油天神山) During the Gion Matsuri in Kyoto!

The Abura Tenjin Yama (油天神山) float enshrines Michizane Sugawara. Deified as Tenjin (Deity of thunder), a renowned scholar statesman who lived about 1,100 years ago. A small Tenjin shrine dedicated to Michizane, the patron of scholastic achievements, exists in the neighbourhood of Abura no Kouji Street, after which this float is named. The Abura Tenjin Yama (油天神山) float has a […]

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by / on July 18, 2012 at 5:40 PM / in Gion Matsuri, Matsuri-Festival

Yamaboko Junko-Gion Matsuri-2012! A Pictorial Overview!

The word Yamaboko refers to the two types of floats used in the procession: Yama, of which there are 23, and hoko, of which there are 9. One of the main reasons the Gion Matsuri is so impressive is the enormity of the hoko, which can be up to 25 meters tall, weigh up to 12 tons, and are pulled […]

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by / on July 14, 2012 at 7:15 AM / in Gion Matsuri, Matsuri-Festival

Yamabushi-Yama (山伏山) During the Yamaboko Junko (山鉾巡行) in Kyoto,2012!

This float is called Yamabushi-yama because it displays a holy doll of a Yamabushi (a mountain priest) on its top. When the famous five-storied Yasaka pagoda of the Hokan-ji temple near Kiyomizu temple began to lean many centuries ago a renowned Yamabushi named Yozokisho reportedly set the tower straight with his spiritual powers. The image on this float depicts the […]

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by / on July 13, 2012 at 10:18 AM / in Gion Matsuri, Matsuri-Festival

Urade-Yama (占出山) During the Yamaboko Junko (山鉾巡行) in Kyoto,2012!

This float portrays a famous story of when Empress Jingu, a more legendary than historical heroine of Japan, went fishing for Ayu (sweet fish) when she was in Hizen (present day Saga prefecture in northern Kyushu) in order to cast a horoscope about the victory or defeat of the Imperial campaign. For this reason, the float is also called Ayu-tsuri-yama […]

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by / on July 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM / in Gion Matsuri, Matsuri-Festival

Tsuki-Hoko (月鉾) During the Yamaboko Junko (山鉾巡行) in Kyoto,2012!

This float derives its name from the crescent moon mounted on the top of its pole. Halfway up the pole the deity of the moon known as Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto is enshrined. The gorgeous pictures of flowers and grasses on the lower side of the eaves of this float were rendered in 1784 by Maruyama Okyo, the most renowned painter of the […]

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by / on July 11, 2012 at 11:14 AM / in Gion Matsuri, Matsuri-Festival

Tōrō-Yama (蟷螂山) During the Yamaboko Junko (山鉾巡行) in Kyoto,2012!

Tōrō-Yama (蟷螂山) derives its name from an old saying in China that a praying mantis, though small, is courageous enough to raise its “hatchets” high in the air in front of a marching army to try to stop it. The origin of Tōrō-Yama (蟷螂山) dates by to the mid-14th century when Shijo Takasuke (1292-1352), a high-ranking aristocrat from this neighborhood, […]

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by / on July 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM / in Gion Matsuri, Matsuri-Festival

Tokusa-Yama (木賊山) During the Yamaboko Junko (山鉾巡行) in Kyoto,2012!

Tokusa-Yama (木賊山) derives its name from “Tokusa” (“scoring rush”), a Noh play written by the great Zeami in the 15th century. The figure on the float is an old man from the Noh play who had his son kidnapped many years ago, and manages to survive by mowing Tokusa rush without any family to help him in the mountainous province […]

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