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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Hana-e sai
"Flower Assembly Festival." A festival held on April 11, at the Futarayama Shrine (Futarayama Jinja) on Baba Street, Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture in commemoration of the temporary manifestation of the enshrined kami (saijin) at this location. Four boys around the age of twelve wear elaborate headdresses (yōraku no kanburi), traditional hunting robes, and swords. The boys receive one branch each from the tens of cherry blossom branches which the shrine priests (shinshoku) have placed on a special standing tray (sanbō). They then give these to the shrine's chief priest (gūji). After handing over the branches, the chief priest gathers them together and offers them to the kami. Following this, the four boys perform a four part dance, in which they successively dance carrying a staff, empty-handed, carrying a sword, and carrying a staff again.

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