Iwataki Festival
In Iwataki-cho there is "Kizumi" Shinto shrine which was build in 902.
An annual festival is held at this Shinto shrine on 30th of April and 1st of May.
The followings are quoted from Iwataki history.

about the festival at Kizumi Shinto shrine

At 30th of April the public festival is held and after that the private festival starts.
In the public festival,the mayor of Iwataki visits the shrine as a leader in order to make an offering of money.Then the private festival starts.
Something worshipped as a symbol for the sprit of the dead is returned to a shrine, the sacred Shinto music and dancing are performed,and a sword is swung.
An offering of money is brought to a patishioner, and a portable shrine and they are enshrined in front of the Yumiki public hall.Next day,at 1st of May.the Miyukisai is held in the afternoon.At this time the portable shrine of Ishida is carried to the shrine.
The sacred Shinto music and dancing leads with swinging sword and  carrying the portable shrine.
They reach the shrine in the evening and bring back something worshipped as a symbol for the sprit of the dead,play the Shinto music.
After more swinging of the sword and doing "Sasabayashi(a kind of dance)" the festival finishes.
People carrying a portable shrine,parade in the village and put the portable shrine on display.
After purifying their body, children start swinging a sword in front of houses.
People gather,have a dinner and drink Sake(Japanese alcohol).
In the afternoon,a ritual dance with a lion's mask and swinging sword are dedicated in the grounds of the Shinto shrine.
wAC
Like the ancients who pray for the public's peace of life and the future of agriculture,
even now people join in the festival in order to play and wish to the god of the village.
wAC
Evening In the cheering,children swing and jump over the sword as much as they can in an open space in front of Ishida public hall.

They continue jumping.

When the last boy is exhausted This festival finishes.
This is the festival of Iwataki.
Back to home