Monday, February 9, 2009

Weirdest Matsuri in Japan - Yaya Matsuri Day 5

The last day of Yaya featured a day-long parade by all the 3 main concentrations. A total of 854 participants took part in this procession which started at 1pm and lasted till 6pm at the Jinja.

We were treated to traditional performances...

. . and the not so traditional ones.

The poor shishi aka 獅子(lion) being whacked by kids from the start to the end of the parade.

Cart full of tidbits!

Left: Challenge for the Yaya
Right: In high spirits, the men were sprayed with beer as they did a mini Yaya.

Left: Final performance by the participants for the Gods at the Jinja.
Right: Finally. A break.

Another procession to mark the "closing door" ceremony of the matsuri. The kids were being carried on the shoulders of the adults. Not a part of the rituals but likely because the kids were tired after the full day of matsuri.

And this was the archery contest where a representative from each of the 3 strongholds competed in. The one who managed to hit the bull's eye will have to go to Ise Shrine to pray. Sadly, no one struck the bull's eye this year. A total of 7 rounds took place and the chant of Jyo-Sa-Ja kept ranting throughout the competition.
Owase Jinja priest conducting a ritual before the start of the archery contest

Totally caught by surprise as to what happened here. Once the archers made their final bow to the targets, 3 men grabbed the straw mat and dashed through the queue of lanterns to the shrine. (unable to get a shot as it happened too fast)

The last ritual where the shishi (獅子) dashed out of the temple, disappeared for the next 3 mins and dashed right in again)

Total time of the final day's Matsuri: 1pm to 10pm.

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