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
Gogan shinji
An annual festival (reisai) that takes place on February 10 at Sugōisobe Shrine in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture. After the ritual service, dozens of young ujiko (parishioners) from the two districts neighboring the shrine, Shikiji and Oka, dressed in white undergarments, white pleated trousers (hakama), white socks (tabi), and sandals, break into the snow-covered temple grounds (keidai) and wander about pounding indiscriminately at the buildings with shafts of green bamboo, more than two meters in length. One hour later, they engage in a tug-of-war with a twenty-four-meter long rope resembling a giant snake. Then, they hurl this rope snake from the Shikiji Bridge into the Daishōji River. The worshipers at the shrine vie with each other for slivers of the bamboo to take home, as these are considered charms against evil and calamities. Participants also receive chopsticks made from the splintered bamboo, called goganbashi. It is said that, in the past, fishermen from downstream Shiotani would pull the rope snake out of the river and weave strands from the rope into their towropes as a charm for a bountiful catch. The festival is also known as the takewari matsuri (Bamboo Splitting Festival). It is said to have originated in a prayer (ritsugan, ryūgan, "gan" meaning "prayer") by Emperor Tenmu, which is also at the origin of the name "gogan shinji."
— Mogi Sakae

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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