Photographer's Note

There are two parts to Aoi Matsuri: the procession and the shrine rites. The procession is led by the Imperial Messenger. Following the imperial messenger are: two oxcarts, four cows, thirty-six horses, and six hundred people, all of which are dressed in traditional Heian period apparel decorated with aoi leaves. The procession starts at 10:30 on May 15 and leaves the Kyoto Imperial Palace and slowly works its way towards the Shimogamo shrine and finally the Kamigamo shrine. When they finally arrive at both shrines, the Saiō-Dai and Imperial Messenger perform their rituals. The Saiō-Dai simply pays her respects to the deities and the Imperial Messenger intones the imperial rescript praising the deities and requesting their continued favor.

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Additional Photos by Takero KAWABATA (bukitgolfb301) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2293 W: 0 N: 4459] (52978)
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