Sanno Matsuri

Sanno Matsuri

Every two years in June
Held in Tokyo at the HiÉ Shrine, the Sanno Matsuri is held every two years, alternating with the Kanda Matsuri at the Kanda Shrine. During the Edo era (1603-1867) when Japan was ruled by the shogun, this festival was attended by the shogun himself. More than 40 festival floats were paraded through the streets, although today only three mikoshi (portable shrines) are seen.
People in special holiday outfits jam into the shrine complex. On June 15, the shrine's mikoshi and gilded lions' heads are brought out for the main parade, along with the dashi (festival floats or carts) sent by each of the surrounding districts. They are accompanied by about 400 participants dressed in costumes of the Heian Era (9th-12th centuries). The miko, shrine maidens, perform kagura —sacred dance and music in honor of the gods.
A good-luck ceremony associated with the Sanno Matsuri is known as the Chi-no-Wa Shinji . It involves passing—twice to the left and once to the right—through a big circle woven together with chigaya (a kind of grass) attached to a frame made of bamboo.
CONTACTS:
Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau
Kasuga Business Center Bldg. 10F, 1-15-15 Nishikata
Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo, 113-0024 Japan
81-3-5840-8892; fax: 81-3-5840-8895
www.tcvb.or.jp/en/index_en.htm
SOURCES:
IllFestJapan-1993, p. 72
JapanFest-1965, p. 159