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Aoi Matsuri festival in kyoto 2021: CANCELED due to COVID-19

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Shato no gi at Kamigamo shrine

Overview

The most important thing in Aoi matsuri is Shato no gi because it is held for peace and rich cultivation in Japan. Chokushi and Saioh (dai) visits Kamo shrines to pray for them. Only in Kamigamo shrine, we can catch a glimpse of the Shato no gi, a.k.a. Chokusai. Prior to Chokusai, Hondensai no gi is held prepare for it.

Chokusai takes place far away from a place we can be. If you wanted to see it, it would be better to have binoculars or something.

Hondensai no gi at 1:30 p.m. 本殿祭の儀


上賀茂神社・本殿祭

Priests purify themselves at Tsuchinoya (the red Torii in the map) and head for the main hall (the blue Torii). Hondensai is not open to us. The men in white outfit has a box called “Niwazumi Shinsen Karabitsu.” It contains Shinsen, food dedicated to a Deity Kamigamo shrine.

Chokusai around 3:30 p.m. 勅祭 葵祭 社頭の儀

葵祭2018

The parade is to arrive around 3:30 p.m.

勅使解除

When the parade arrives there, Chokushi from Imperial House Hold Agency enters the 2nd Torii with Maiudo and Beiju. He goes into a tent called “Harae Aku.” He purifies him self with Hitogata and Onmyo gushi.

斎王御禊

As described in the article of Saiohdai Gyoke no gi, Saioh used to purify herself in the same kind of tent.

内蔵使安上

After the purification, Goheimostu is put on a table to dedicate it to the Deity of Kamigamo shrine.

葵祭の御幣物

Goheimotsu consists of rolls of cloth.

御祭文葵祭2018

After that, Chokushi sits on a Tatami mat on Hashidono bridge. Under Hashidono, there is a small stream which tells sacred place from secular world. I suppose he doesn’t have a privilege to cross the stream. (In ancient times, Kamogamo shrine was so sacred that only emperor and high-ranked officials can visit there.)

Chokushi reads out Goseimon (the piece of red paper in the photo), a message from the Emperor, in which he prays for peace and rich cultivation in our country. The man who hold Goseimon is a priest. He bring it and Goheimotsu to the main hall to dedicate them to the Deity.

返祝詞岩上

The priest comes back to Hashidono. He stands on Ganjo (the second photo) and tells Chokushi that the Deity accepted the prayer of the Emperor.

勅祭

Meryotsukai shows Ouma to the Deity as gratitude.

白馬総覧神事

Ouma strolls around Hashidono and heads for the gate of the main hall as Shinme horse does in Aouma Soran Shinji.

走馬の儀

In the end, dance called Azuma Asobi held and horse race takes place.

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