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Ashizoroeshiki of Kamokurabeuma, the ritual prior to Aoi matutsuri festival 2019

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Ashizoroe shiki of Kamo horse race 足汰式

Overview

Ashizoroeshiki is a ritual held prior to Aoi matsuri festival in Kyoto. It is held on 1st of May at Kamigamo shrine. In this ritual, the pairs and turns of Kamokurabeuma are decided. It has a long history: In 2019, the 953th Asizoroeshiki will be held on 1st of May.

The reserved seats 有料観覧席

賀茂競馬コース

The both side of the course, there are reserved seats. The east side (the left in the photo) is 500 yen for each and the west side (the right in the photo) is 1,000 yen for each. If it was a sunny day, we would get suntan. When horses run, it is prohibited to hold parasol because it reflects sunlight and make them frightened. It is banned to use strobe of camera for the same reason.

The horses

Ashizoroeshiki is a ritual held prior to Aoi matsuri festival. Emperor Horikawa asked manor of Kamigamo shrine to dedicate horses because of its importance. Due to this historical fact, the horses attend in Asizoroeshiki has name of manors. Following a  custom, horses dedicated by Mimasaka no Kuni Shidorinosyo (Okayama prefecture) and Kaganokuni Kanazuno sho (Ishikawa prefecture) made a pair. The pair runs preceding the other horses.

Norijiri, the jockeys are descendants of the Kamo clan. They starts practicing around 10 years old to prepare for the future Kurabeuma.

賀茂競馬賀茂競馬

The saddles and stirrups are extraordinary beautiful with genuine silver inlaid work. They are dedication of Keisyunin. She is a mother of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the 5th Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate. She visited frequently Kamigamo shrine to pray for a birth of boy child. Thanks to the Deity of Kamigamo shrine, she gave birth to Yoshimune, she dedicated the equipment for Kamokurabeuma.

Chozu no gi 手水の儀於庁屋

賀茂足汰式

Norijiri, the jockeys of Kamokurabeuma attend a ritual to purify them at Chonoya.

Omuchi Arai no Gi お鞭洗いの儀

お鞭洗いの儀

In front of Kamoyamaguhi shrine, the sub-shrine of Kamigamo shrine, Jockeys put their horsewhip in the stream to purify them.

Joba Ashiarei no Gi 乗馬足洗いの儀

乗馬足洗いの儀乗馬足洗いの儀

At Narano Ogawa stream in Kamigamo shrine, horses are purified with the water of the stream. This has another purpose: to get rid of heat from the legs.

乗馬足洗いの儀乗馬足洗いの儀

After the horses, the jockeys purify themselves with the water.

Ketsuke no Gi 毛付の儀

毛付の儀毛付の儀

At the Babaden, the judges know the conditions of the horse.

足汰式足汰式

The horses start walking at the goal to start in zigzag way. It is called “Kyusetsu Nanka.” It means they walk to the south turning 9 times in zigzag. In the walk, they understand the condition of the course.

足汰式足汰式

This is a traditional fence called Rachi. It is made of bamboo and leaves to make the damage to horse and spectator minimum.

Kuchi 駆馳(くち)

駆馳駆馳

12 horses runs in the course. The judges decide pairs of them and their turns.

足汰式

In Ashizoroe shiki, the jockeys in Noue (狩衣)outfit.

2017賀茂競馬

On the other hand, they are in Hoh(袍), the dancing outfit because winner used to dance in front of the emperor in ancient times.

Kyochi 競馳(きょうち)

競馳

In Kyochi, the horses runs in a pair decided in Kuchi.

Tasukinori no Gi 襷乗の儀(たすきのりのぎ)

襷乗の儀襷乗の儀

After Kyochi, the jockeys give theri prayers to Kamigamo shrine in front of the Torii gate.

They head for Babaden to make the judges sure that their decision were right or wrong.

Kanpai no Gi 勧盃の儀

賀茂競馬足汰式賀茂競馬足汰式

In this ritual, Ashizoroe shiki finishes.

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Access to Kamigamo shrine

  From JR Kyoto station

Take subway Karasuma line and get off at Kitaoji station. From Kitaoji bus terminal adjacent to Kitaoji station, take the bus no. 37 and get off at Kamigamo misonobashi bas stop.

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About Kamigamo shrine

  • Name Kamo Wake Ikazuchi Jinjya
  • De facto name Kamigamo shrine
  • Adress 339 kamigamo honzan, kita ward, Kyoto
  • Phone 075-781-0011
  • Fax 075-702-6618
  • Website kamigamo shrine web site (English)
  • Opening hours: 10:00~16:00
  • Entrance fee: Free except special visit.
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