Photographer's Note

Hi there and TE friends

Long time no see again, sorry for my absence,but I am back again, and I hope I will be more regular.

Well, back to the picture.

I went to Takisanji Temple an hour away from Higashi Okazaki for this fire festival.

The Oni Matsuri (Ogre or fire festival) is held here every February - usually on the Saturday closest to February 7th as this is the the New Year in the old Lunar Calendar. Part of the festival involves blessings for 42, 25, and 12 year old males - of which about 3 males are selected as representatives for participation in a ceremony held in the main hall.

The 3 males wear ceremonial masks - the 42 year wears the mask of a grandfather, the 25 year old the mask of a grandmother, and the young boy wears the mask of a grandson. In addition, about 30 men (usually but not necessarily elderly men) who were born in a year with the same sign of the Chinese zodiac as the year of the festival (for example in 2001 - the year of the snake) participate in a ceremony holding burning torches. The festival is famous in the Mikawa region as a traditional religious ceremony to greet the beginning of spring.

Takisanji Temple has many national important cultural properties including the Kamakura-styled Main Hall, Sanmon Gate, and the sacred statue of the Goddess of Mercy which not only has the remains of Yorimoto, but is also said to be built in his life-size.

I thought it was a little dangerous that kids were handling fire, but I guess there were fire fighters on the ready if any mishap did occur.

I hope you like it

here is the video of the event


ChrisJ, jhm, jaywalker has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Dan Leung (Kenny10pin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4744 W: 0 N: 5667] (19301)
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