Tanomi-sai was held at Aso shrine on Sep.25th again this year

Hello everybody, how are you?
It has been beatiful these days.
My kids enjoyed their sports day at pre-school last Sat.
I was so glad we could join it.

As you know, because of the covid-19, still many events are cancelled or held on reduced scale.
Even some Shinto traditional rituals are no exceptions.

Sep.25th is the day for Tanomi-sai at Aso shrine every year.
This year it fell on Sat., so I was expecting to go to watch the ritual with my kids but my favorite part of this event was cancelled naturally because of covid-19.

The name of the event is “Yabusame” which is quite popular for Shinto ritual. The origin is from Heian era which is about 1100 years ago, and it was improved and formalized to the present style by Samurai culture at Kamakura era which is about 850 years ago.

If you don’t know what “Yabusame” is, please take a look at this photo taken at Tanomi-sai 2019.

The approach to the shrines or temples in Japan is vertical most of the time, but the approach of Aso shrine is horizontal which is very rare.
The length of the approach in front of Shrine is 140 meters long. (153 yards)
Men put traditional outfits so as horses, it is already impressive.
They gallop the horses with these heavy costumes. They fit the arrow in the bow, hold the bow and arrow, draw the bow, aim and hit the target 3 times in this short distance with galloping!!

It is really amazing to see how the men and horses work together, to hear the footsteps of horses passing in front of you is exciting. Every time they hit the target, confetti pop out, it is pretty and fun.
Here is a video I took 3 years ago,it is not very good quality but I hope it helps you to see how it looks like.


When I watched this, there were about 10 horses and riders. Not all of them succeeded, but the audience gave warm compliment for each performer and horse. We felt like we united into one, that something we really miss now.

Well, ”Yabusame” is fun but this is just a part of Tanomi-sai.
Even they couldn’t hold “Yabusame”, Tanomi-sai itself was held on Sep.25th again this year.
As the Kanji (Chinese character) meaning of Tanomi-sai is ceremony of rice crop, the main event is giving the first rice from Aso to Shinto deity and thank the blessing of the harvest.
This part was held safely on Sep.25th, our deity should be happy now. We are sure we will be blessed for good rice crop next year again😊

“Yabusame” had been cancelled for 2 years now, I hope we can see it again next year!



カテゴリー: English Blog   タグ: , , , , , , , ,   この投稿のパーマリンク

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