Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1: 5. Rites and Festivals
カテゴリー2: Individual Shrine Observances
"Wind and string music festival." Held on the seventeenth day of the sixth month in the lunar calendar at Itsukushima Shrine in the town of Miyajima, Saeki District, Hiroshima Prefecture. Kangen is an ensemble composed of three woodwind (kan) instruments—a flute (fue), a double-reed wind instrument (hichiriki) and a mouth organ (shō); three stringed (gen) instruments—a lute (biwa), a thirteen-string koto (), and a six-string koto (wagon); and three drums (ko)—a large drum (taiko), a side drum (kakko), and a bronze gong (shōko). The event begins around 5 p.m. with a departure rite. A procession with a beautiful phoenix palanquin (hōren) brought down from the dance stage to the beach at low tide heads for a gozabune (a type of boat for people of elevated status) waiting at the shrine's large torii just offshore. The palanquin is placed in the gozabune and three oared boats usher it to the pond in front of Jigozen Shrine on the opposite shore where a ceremony takes place. The kangen ensemble plays throughout this proces. The boats then head around to Nagahama Shrine and Daigen Shrine. The gozabune and its escorts are decorated with lanterns (chōchin), and charcoal bonfires are lit on shore. Returning to the main shrine (honsha), the gozabune enters an area deep in the honden (main hall) known as the masu-gata ("masu-shape," a masu being a square-shaped measuring cup), and circles the inside three times. The kangen plays at a fast tempo at this time. The phoenix palanquin is taken down from the gozabune and returned to its original location. The Itsukushima Shrine gagaku (classical ritual music imported from China) kangen repertoire is comprised of 12 pieces—11 T'ang pieces and one saibara (an indigenous genre considered a part of gagaku). The festival is Itsukushima Shine's largest, and many spectators show up for it.
— Mogi Sakae

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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