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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
U no matsuri
Rabbit festival. A rite beginning with the first day of the rabbit in March and lasting to the next day of the rabbit thirteen days later at Aso Jinja in Ichinomiya-chō, Aso-gun, Kumamoto prefecture. Late on the eve of the first day of the rabbit, the spirit of the kami is transferred to a shin'yo (sacred palanquin) and enshrined in a temporary shrine building. Until the next day of the rabbit, food offerings (shinsen) including wild boar and deer meat are offered and sacred kagura songs are sung each day. Tradition states that the saijin (enshrined kami) Takewatatsunomikoto pacified the island of Kyushu and opened up the Aso region. The day he arrived there was the day of the rabbit in the second lunar month. The purpose of the festival is to pray for a bountiful harvest of grain. Formerly, as the shimonokari rite, it was Aso Jinja's most important festival.

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