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Home » 4. Jinja (Shrines) » Ritual Implements and Vestments
A float decorated with variously shaped objects (spear, mountain, human images, etc.), and carried or drawn on wheels to the accompaniment of festive music (hayashi). The name dashi is said to have originated in the fact that the upper part of the float's central "spear" (hoko) is a plaited bamboo receptacle (higeko) whose unwoven ends are tasseles or "protrusions" (dashi). Historically, the floats called dashi derive from the objects called shirushi no yama which were drawn during in the Great Festival of Enthronement (Daijōsai) during the Heian period, and served as a sign (shirushi) of the presence of the kami during the festival. With time, however, the addition of elaborate decorations and musical accompanied saw the evolution of dashi into the foci of popular entertainment. In the Kansai (Osaka) region dashi may be also called danjiri, while in the Kantō area they also go by the name yatai. See also yamahoko.

-Motosawa Masashi
A float (dashi) used in Kashima jingū's Shinko festival. This float features Yamato takeru.

Ibaraki Prefecture

©Fujii Hiroaki

A festival float at the Kumagaya Uchiwa Matsuri.

Saitama Prefecture, 2007

©Ōsawa Kōji

A festival float at the Kawagoe Hikawa Matsuri.

Saitama Prefecture, 2006

©Tan Kazunobu

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