Kibune Matsuri is one of a traditional matsuri (festival) at Manazuru, registered as an important intangible folk cultural property of Japan. Every summer the citizen will held the event and ceremony. Hoping for a big catch and marine safety, also offering their gratitude for the divine blessing granted for them.
According to the history of Kibune Matsuri, it was said that a man named Hirai no Okina (Old man Hirai) went to the seashore and found a glittering boat. When the boat was examined, there were 12 wooden statue at the boat and a note that said : If you preach to these gods, the village will prosper. Hirai no Okina started building a shrine with the help from other villagers. Until now, the story become the base of Kibune Matsuri until now. Since around 1,100 years, citizen of Manazuru hold the festival every year, wishing for better development and offering gratitude for their live.
(For the complete story about Kibune Matsuri please refer to this website – it is in Japanese language.)
At the seashore there were grand boats with very beautiful design. I missed the moment when the boats sailed through the sea. I took picture of the boat the shore though! Which one do you think better, day or night?
From the Kibune Shrine until Manazuru seashore, there were many stalls. Many types of stall were there but the most popular was kaki-goori or shaved ice! The street across Manazuru also decorated with lanterns. It didn’t give any effect at daylight, but when it turned to night, the lanterns filled the city with soft fantasy-like light.
Kashima odori and Hana-dashi
Kashima odori (Kashima dance) is a kind of ritual to cast away evil and also wishing for the citizen’s safety and big catch at the sea. This dance is a special culture along the western side of Samigahara bay, from western side of Odawara until Izu-Kitagawa.
When the dancers were performing the ritual, some of the members will take babies or kids from the parents and bring them closer to short stick the dancers hold. I don’t know the detail, but I am pretty sure it was to give the children blessing or some kind of divine protection.
I have seen dashi or festival car in previous matsuri I went (Matsubara Shrine and Ajiro Bay Festival). But hana-dashi in Kibune festival was different. It’s not a car, more looked like a giant pole. The height is about 3 m with weight approximately 60 kg. Even to pick it up is already a hard thing to do. Moreover, when a person pick it up, there are some special movements up-down left-right that they must do and it seems so tiring!
Under the schorching sun, the omikoshi (portable shrine) marched troughout the town. It seemed very exhausting. Even I wore my hat, the heat and sunlight were unbearable… However, the omikoshi group fascinated us with their determination to do their best carrying omikoshi.
The omikoshi at Kibune festival was also special. The design looked like usual omikoshi. But the procession was different.
At the first day I went there (7/27), they bring the omikoshi to the sea! The omikoshi surely became heavier because of the water and that day was very hot too, looked so hard. The weight of omikoshi is also said can be up to 1 ton!
Continuing to the next day (7/28), I went to see the final event at night. Not only the omikoshi, there were also trucks with people singing and dancing, enjoying the summer festival. The fireworks were also shoot at that time and all the hype blend together while the omikoshi bringer proceed to Kibune shrine.
As you can see in the photo, Kibune shrine stairs are high and they need to bring the omikoshi all way up those stairs until reaching the shrine! This final part is a bit dangerous, the omikoshi was too heavy and everyone was surely tired after marching throughout town. Sometimes it looked like the omikoshi will fall down (it seems there were times when people bringing the omikoshi did fall down as there was an ambulance standing by too). But in the end, they reached the top of the stairs!!! Everyone was safely arrived at the shrine. Not only the omikoshi-bringer, all of us spectator were very happy too when the omikoshi reached the top.
Kibune matsuri will be one of matsuri where you can see the traditional culture of Japan, feel the spirit of everyone doing their best to succeed the matsuri, and put an important value to the sea. It gave me a nice summer night impression. Please come the this seaside town when you visit Japan too. Thank you for reading this article. ♥
|Event Name||Kibune Matsuri|
|Event Period||July 27th and 28th, 2015|
|Contact||Manazuru Town Tourism Association：0465-68-2500|
|Getting There||Train : Take Tokaido Line and go to Manazuru station Car : Go for National Highway number 1 or Odawara Atsugi, Odawara West IC road or Ishibashi IC of Shonan Baypass then go for > National Highway number 135 > Prefecture Highway number 739|
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