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
Teppō matsuri
"Gun festival." An annual festival (reisai) held on April 17 at Hozumi Shrine in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture. The shrine is also called Ryūsō-sama (the shrine sits at the foot of Mt. Ryūsō; see yama no kami), a divinity that has attracted worship from hunters as the kami of hunting. Ryūsō-sama became a "faddish deity" (see hayarigami shinkō) during times of war said to provide protection from bullets, drawing many worshippers to the shrine. After the completion of worship observances, the ceremonial shooting of targets is performed by gun instead of by bow and arrow.
A teppō matsuri is also held December 15 at Hachiman Shrine in Ogano Township, Chichibu District, Saitama Prefecture. Starting around 3 p.m., a procession including two horses to be presented as ceremonial offerings (shinme) goes to the shrine and receives a blessing. More than one hundred woodsmen and hunters wait on both sides of the bridle path that runs up along the stone steps on the shrine grounds (keidai). Just as the horses begin to ascend the steep slope, the waiting hunters all fire blanks into the air in unison. The horses are startled and run up the slope, though they must be pulled up over the final precipice with the help of people. The festival is a method of divining the fortune of an entire year (toshiura).
— Mogi Sakae

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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