Horai Festival

I had a great pleasure of being at Tsurugi (鶴来) , a community about 30 min. taxi ride from Kanazawa, yesterday.

It is a lovely "town" and this weekend, a local festival called "Horai Matsuri" is being held.  Here's a Youtube upload from 2008.

This is Kinkengu, the local shrine where we met in the late yesterday afternoon.

A poster of the festival.

On the other side of Torii was a long street of Yatai.

The street seen from the other end.

At a local Ryokan entrance, food and drinks were given to all the visitors (even if you were not staying the night)

Local sake were abundant.

Big floats go around the town visiting almost every house.

Here's the first of Shishimai Dance I saw - it was very unique for the dance was about a warrior fighting Shishi.  It is unique for Shishi gets beaten at the end for the animal is usually an beast that brings luck and fortune to people.  Here's a Youtube video of one.  I was told that every boy learns the dance.

Boys dressed as old time court nobles.

The festival continued into the night - here are two other Shishimai (performed by different boys).


A scary-faced float.

Oda Nobunaga - a popular Samurai Lord. 

Here's a Shishigashira (Shishi head) in one of the houses we visited.

Just as many other small country-side communities, Tsurugi is losing population.  Many young people leaving town.  But every year, for the festival many return and celebrate and families reunite.  It is a wonderful tradition.

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