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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Hote matsuri
Sail-cord Festival. A festival held on March 10 at Shiogama Shrine (Shiogama jinja) in Shiogama City, Miyazaki Prefecture. Beginning two days before the festival, sacred dance and music (kagura), a shrine priestess festival, Yamato dances are performed at the Ceremonial Hall (haiden). After the ceremonies on the festival day, there is a procession of the divinities. At the head of the procession is a hayashi stage called katsugi-kagura, with children riding on a doll stage. Besides the children and shrine priestesses (miko), spears, clothing boxes, swords, guns, bows and arrows and others objects are all part of the procession's stately accoutrements. It is a lively occasion with hundreds of worshippers. Around the sacred palanquin (mikoshi) flags similar to sails are raised and those accompanying it make offerings. This is the origin of the name. Festival floats (dashi) and stages of the town are dragged around. Also, a Daikoku (one of the seven gods of happiness) doll is made and placed on a horse. People sing packhorse-driver songs as they lead this horse from house to house. It is said that this began as a festival for fire protection in 1682 and originally took place on January 28. Now it has changed to be a festival praying for domestic safety and business prosperity.

— Mogi Sakae
A scene from the Hotematsuri. The mikoshi--a palanquin carrying the kami--which descended from the mountain housing Shiogama shrine, is then paraded throughout the city of Shiogama.

Miyagi Prefecture, 2008

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