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
Onbashira matsuri
"Honored pillar festival." A festival held the fifth month of the seventh year of the tiger and monkey at the main hall (hongū) and forehall (zengū) of the upper shrine (kamisha) of Suwa Taisha in Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture, and also at the spring hall (harumiya) and autumn hall (akimiya) of the lower shrine (shimosha) of Suwa Taisha in Shimo-suwa Township, Suwa District, Nagano Prefecture. Over the course of two months, 16 giant fir tree logs are dragged by tens of thousands of parishoners (ujiko) down from the mountains where the trees were cut down. The festival celebrates the raising of four of these divine tree (shinboku) logs each in the four corners of the four halls at the two shrines. Events begin two years beforehand with a rite in which the trees that will serve as the "honored pillars" are selected and marked by driving sickles into them, after which various procedures are followed that culminate in the onbashira matsuri.
The festival held the second day of the horse in December at Nakayama Shrine in Tsuyama City, Okayama Prefecture, in which a ritual purification wand (see onusa) is planted in an offering drawn from the "first fruits" (hatsuho) of the harvest (nozuki), is called the onbashira matsuri. Originally, the shrine would receive offerings of the five grains (gokoku: wheat, rice, foxtail millet [awa], chinese millet [kibi] and beans) from throughout Mimasaka Province (in present-day Okayama Prefecture). Pillars would be raised in the four corners of the shrine grounds (keidai), straw rope hung between them, and then ceremonies performed in the resulting space.
— Mogi Sakae

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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