1/22/2005

Autumn Festival (aki matsuri)

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Autumn Festival (aki matsuri)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Autumn
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

aki matsuri 秋祭 (あきまつり) autumn festival
sato matsuri 里祭(さとまつり)village festival
..... mura matsuri 村祭(むらまつり)
zaimatsuri 在祭(ざいまつり)shrine festival

uramatsuri 浦祭(うらまつり)bay festival

(to pray for the safety of fishing boats)

Many take place in the ninth lunar month (now october).


Aki Matsuri, Autumn Festivals  秋祭り to thank the gods for a good harvest and pray for the wellbeing of each family in the community. They are celebrated all over Japan after the rice harvest. Preparations take weeks and are a means to get the young men and women of the village together to practise the dances and tunes.

Today, on the second weekend of October, is the Autumn Festival at our local shrine, I just come back from the simple but really endearing festivities.
The local gods are transferred to small portable shrines (mikoshi), put in front of the shrine and groups of 3 men perform a lions dance in front of them. The kindergarden children this year also wearing colorful costumes and danced with their paper lion mask.

This is our lion



Look at more details here
Autumn Festival in Sakai 2005

Then all take the protable shrines about 500 meters to a clearance in the forest, where more ricewine for the elders and more dance for the gods is performed.
With loud shouting they walk back to the shrine, another final dance and that was it.

And on the following links, you find some very similar festival, since after all, most mountain communities in Okayama are the same.

Here are some lovely pictures of such a small village autumn festival.
http://www.e-village.jp/earth-c/html/9910oct/html/000050.html
http://www.e-village.jp/earth-c/html/9910oct/html/000052.html

Here is some kind of Lion Dance in Takebe, the village next to mine.


http://www.e-village.jp/earth-c/html/9910oct/html/000080.html

Gabi Greve

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Here is a great link with haiku and pictures about many Autumn festivals in Japan.


Copyright (C) 2000-2004 Yoshio Wada.

http://wadaphoto.jp/haiku.htm

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Some famous Aki Matsuri

September
Sep.7-9 Kakudate Festival: Kakudate Town, Akita
The second weekend of September: Hanamaki Festival: Iwate
Mid. September Towada Aki Matsuri: Towada-city, Aomori
Mid. September Kishiwada Danjiri Festival: Kishiwada-city, Osaka
Sep. 14-16 Morioka Fall Festival: Morioka-city Iwate
Sep. 14-16 Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Festival: Kamakura-city, Kanagawa
Sep. 22-24 Aizu Fall Festival: Aizuwakamatsu-city, Fukushima
Sep. 23-24 Ohara Hadaka Matsuri (naked men festival): Isumi-city, Chiba


October
Oct. 4-6 Nihonmatsu Chochin (lantern) Festival: Nihonmatsu-city Fukushima


. 日本三大くんち The three famous KUNCHI of Japan  
(kunchi, o-kunchi, refers to autumn festivals in Kyushu)
長崎くんち(長崎県長崎市) Nagasaki
唐津くんち(佐賀県唐津市) Karatsu
博多おくんち(福岡県福岡市) Hakata

Oct. 7-9 Nagasaki Kunchi: Nagasaki-city, Nagasaki 長崎 くんち祭り
At the shrine Suwa Jinja.
Hakata Kunchi in Fukuoka city, October 23 & 24
Karatsu Kunchi in Karatsu city, Nobember 2 to 4
Wild dances, the mikoshi are carried from the shrine to a stop spot 御旅所 for more dances.

. . . . .


Oct. 9-10 Takayama Fall Festival: Takayama-city, Gifu
Oct. 11-12, 2008 Nagoya Festival: Nagoya-city, Aichi

. Oct. 14-15, Nada Kenka Matsuri 灘けんか祭  

Oct. 16-17 Nikko Toshogu Fall Festival: Nikko-city Tochigi

Mid. Oct. - early Nov.Hirosaki Castle Fall Foliage Festival: Hirosaki-city, Aomori
Oct. 22 Jidai Matsuri Heian Jingu Shrine: Kyoto
Oct. 30 - Nov.3, 2008 Saga Baloon Festival: Saga-city, Saga
Oct.24 - Nov.3, 2008 Shuri Castle Festival: Naha-city Okinawa


November
Nov. 1 - 24 Yahiko Kiku Festival (Chrysanthemum festival): Yahiko-mura, Niigata
Nov. 2-4 Karatsu Kunchi: Karatsu-city, Saga
Nov. 3 Hakone Daimyo Parade: Hakone Town, Kanagawa


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Worldwide use

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Things found on the way


Village Children
Just for the fun of it, children harvesting rice by hand. The same sceene is also here in my village.
http://www.e-village.jp/earth-c/html/9910oct/html/000079.html

This is a site with many Japanese topics, made by children, but in English, so you might enjoy to see more.
http://www.e-village.jp/earth-c/html/9910oct/html/

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HAIKU


yamasato ni kodomo no egao aki matsuri

.. .. .. in the mountain village
.. .. .. all children laughing -
.. .. .. autumn festival

Gabi Greve, Okayama Japan


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町沸かす 子供みこしや 秋祭り  
machi wakasu kodomo-mikoshi ya aki matsuri

the whole village in uproar -
the children's portable shrine !
autumn festival
(Tr. Gabi Greve)

Mochizuki san 望月琉巳子

There are more Japanese haiku on this link.
http://www2.tokai.or.jp/hikarino-ie/hp/satonomiti/h14.htm


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autumn festival -
a streak of sunshine
on the priest




Gabi Greve, Japan, 2007

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Related words

***** Oktoberfest (Germany)

***** Harvest Thanksgiving (Europe) Harvest Festival, Erntedankfest



Saijiki of Japanese Ceremonies and Festivals




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2 comments:

. Gabi Greve said...

.
READ THIS

Autumn Festival, by Amy Chavez, October 2006 on Shiraishi Island, Japan

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Anonymous said...

that was wonderful tradition by japan. I love the costumes. thanks for the article
Scott

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