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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Bakemono matsuri
This costume festival is held on May 24 and 25 at Dazaifu Shrine in Shinmei Town, Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture. Participants conceal their faces with cloth hoods (zukin) or woven hats (amigasa) and form a parade through town, with men dressed as women and women dressed as men. The festival traces its origins to an ancient event in which people concealed their faces with woven hats to see off Sugawara Michizane (845-903) when he was exiled to Dazaifu. On that day only, the disguised townspeople were permitted entry wherever they went. Even today, they may be forced by spectators to drink sake.

— Mogi Sakae
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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