Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tenjin Matsuri 2017

Tenjin Matsuri
A 2017 Photo Journal

The Tenjin Matsuri is the largest festival in Osaka.

The festival is held in late July and features several events.
The main event is the river procession and accompanying fireworks on July 25th.
The center of the Festival is Tenjin Shrine, located near Osaka Tenmangu Station. Tenjin Shrine is dedicated to the deity of scholarship.

A Mikoshi being carried by a mixed group near Temma Station.
The daytime temperatures in late July are quite hard to endure.
The "Gal Mikoshi" is an event where an all-female team carries a portable shrine for the parade.
This event is held the day before the main festival.
The Gal mikoshi is smaller and lighter than the two main mikoshi used during the festival.
Traditional instruments accompany the shishimai.
This photo features two shamisen (like a three-strong banjo) and two flutes (kagurabue ?)
In this part of the parade, the shishimai are corralled by stout young men.
The boys in shishimai costumes run down the street and collide in what looks like a football drill. 
Dancing who parade along behind the shishimai, while chanting and twirling their umbrellas.
Exuberant young dancers (many are high school students).
Tenjinbashisuji.
The longest shopping street in Japan. During the festival it is full of people.
 Four train stations connect to this covered shopping arcade.
The areas in front of Tenjin Shrine and Temma Station are the major stopping points for the parades.

Shishimai. Dragon like creatures that exorcise evil spirits. It is good luck if they come up and "bite" your head during the parade.
Note the shishimai-gara print on the cloth part of the fabric. The swirling cloud pattern is also popular on other shishimai.
After the parade, groups of dancers gather in the courtyard of Tenjin Shrine. These costumes of typical of the shishimai portion of the parade; note the sashes around the waist. The emblems on the clothing represent Tenjin Shrine (plum blossoms), Osaka City (the four line insignia) and the Shinto (the mitsudomoe is a Shinto symbol that is thought to represent various things including the cycle of life).
The swirl patter (shishimai-gara) is typcial on the the cloth part of the shishimai (usually white print on green fabric).
A group of girls wearing yukata buyinh yakitori near Tenjin Shrine.
There two main mikoshi of Tenjin Matsuri.
This one, topped with a phoenix and carrying the five point plum blossom emblem of Tenjin Shrine.
The other is topped with a houju and marked with a mitsudomoe mark.
References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenjin_(kami)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomoe

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