- Yasaka shrine holds Gion Matsuri in the fear of COVID-19 祇園祭・御霊会の趣旨から開催
- Imatsuri 居祭
- Yamahoko parade canceled 山鉾巡行の中止
- Hokotate canceled? 鉾立は中止？
- Yaiyamas canceled 宵山の中止
On April 20, it was announced the cancellation of Yamahoko parade, Yoiyamas of Sakimatsuri and Atomatsuri. Since then, there had been no information on Gion Matsuri until June 30. On the day, we were able to see the information board on the photo at last.
It indicates the schedule of the 2020 and tells us that lots of rituals and events are canceled or abbreviated.
In this article, I’ll show you popular rituals and events in 2020.
This site and article don’t recommend outing though the state of emergency was lifted. Make your decision with extreme care.
This site cannot guarantee your safety. The information is subject to be changed. This site is not responsible for any disadvantages you have at all.
The schedule was altered for the fear of clusters.You know what I mean?
Yasaka shrine holds Gion Matsuri in the fear of COVID-19 祇園祭・御霊会の趣旨から開催
The most important thing is that Gion Matsruri is held in 2020 though were are in the midst of COVID-19. The reason dates back to some 1,000 years ago: Gion matsuri started to conquer epidemics. In 869, Kyoto suffered from small pox and other epidemics. The Imperial court ordered Gion sha (the former name of Yasaka shrine) to held (Gion) Goryo-e ritual (the former name of Gion Matsuri). Since then, Gion matsuri was held to fight against epidemics.
I’m sure we cannot understand Gion Matsuri without the article.
To our regret, most of events are abbreviated. Enjoy Gion Matsuri in the videos!
Yoimiya Sai 宵宮祭
In Matsuri, Deities leaves shrines and temples on Mikoshi and stay in cities for the time of being. This is an usual way of Matsuri. On the other hand, some situations prevents Deities to leaving them. In these cases, Deities are stay in shrines and temples. This form of Matsuri is called Imatsuri (居祭). This year, many Matsuri was held as Imatsuri due to COVID-19 and Gion Matsuri is not exemption.
In Gion matsuri, the Deities of Yasaka shrine head for Otabisho at Shijo Teramachi.
On the other hand, priests put Goshinrei (御神霊 /spirits) of Deities into Mikoshi at Mikoshi warehouse this year.
Goshinrei Togyo Sai 御神霊渡御祭
As indicated in the link the baby deer recommended, it is important the Deities stay in the center of Kyoto city. In this year, the Deities go and stay in Otabisho though Gion matsuri is Imatsuri this year. As described before, Deities remain in shrines and temples. I don’t know the exact reason but I’m surethis has something to do with the nature of Gion Matsuri: To save Kyotoites from epidemics. Yasaka shrine decided to send spirits of the Deities to the city for this purpose.
Though priests send the Deities to Otabisho, I have no idea of the way take.
Gosinrei is usually left shrines and temples on Mikoshi but it is not the only way. For example, the Deity of Mikage shrine in a container called Goshipitsu (御神櫃) on the horse’s back in Mikage matsuri, Matsuri held prior to Aoi Matsuri.
Kuze Komagata chigo 久世駒形稚児
Kuze Komagata chigo is the most important figures in Gion Matsuri. The boy is considered as Susano no Mikoto, the Deity of Yasaka shrine. Mikoshis of Gion Matsuri are not able to leave Yasaka shrine without him. I suspect we cannot see him this year because Mikoshis don’t leave Yasaka shrine.
The priest under the umbrella holds a long board. It is Onchokuban or Gochokuban. On the board, the order of Emperor Enyu was written: The order askes Gion sha (the former name of Yasaka shrine) to hold (Gion) Goryo-e ritual (the former name of Gion Matsuri) to save Kyotites form epidemics. This board also leads Mikoshi and we may not see it in the same reason of Kuze Komagata Chigo.
Yasaka shrine says it sends Goshinrei to Otabisho. Onchokouban may go there, I think.
Yamahoko parade canceled 山鉾巡行の中止
The nature go Gion Matsuri and the role of Yamahoko 祇園祭の趣旨との関係
In 2020, Yamaho parade was canceled. As also indicated in the link the baby deer recommended, Yamahokos gather Ekishin and they play important roles in Gion Matsuri.
I suppose the parade was canceled because to prevent clusters: Yamahokos are so popular and if once they were build, they would give birth to clusters. 。
Hikizome is a test drive of Yamahokos. When Yamahoko was built, any one can pull Yamahokos. This year, we don’t have Yamahoko Parade and Hikizome is also canceled.
Ochigo san お稚児さん
Ocigosan means child. We have some Ochigosan othre than Kuzakomagata chigo: Ikichigo of Naginata hoko and Ayagasa hoko chigo. They visit Yasaka shrine before the parade usually but this year, these rituals were canceled. Enjoy them in the videos.
Hokotate canceled? 鉾立は中止？
We are not sure Hokotate (building of Yamahokos) were canceled because we have no official announcement.
Yaiyamas canceled 宵山の中止
Yoiyamas are held prior to Yamahoko parades. They also were canceled to avoid clusters. And it leads many events belong to them. For example, Abare Kannnon (Roaring Kannon) will be canceled.。
They are popular rituals and events canceled or abbreviated in 2020.