The autumn festival of Morohashi Inari Shrine, located in the Maenami area of Anamizu Town, is held to pray for a huge harvest of the five grains, and for a good catch of fish. Originally, floats led the portable shrine. However, after an outbreak of cholera in the Meiji Period, a kiriko lantern was used to ward off evil spirits and epidemics.
On the first day of the festival, kiriko lead the portable shrine, and the following day, floats lead the portable shrine. This difference between the two days is a characteristic of the Maenami festival.
In the night, kiriko gather in the precincts of the shrine. The kiriko are decorated with the paper strips that are often used for the decoration of kiriko in the peripheral area of Anamizu Town. Colorful paper strips are attached to the tops of the floats. When a torch is lit by the fire given at the shrine, the kiriko dance begins. The lanterns are turned around and the kiriko carriers fight each other. After dancing, the kiriko line up to guard the portable shrine and are carried around the town accompanied by the music of drums and bamboo flutes. The portable shrine is carried up the spiral steps to the shrine to the cheers of onlookers.
The second day starts with children playing the drums. Floats decorated with dolls on a rectangular stage lead the portable shrine and are paraded around the town. The dolls, which are created based on historical themes and stories every year, are one of the attractions of the festival.
At 4 o’clock in the afternoon, ritual performance that involves praying for a big catch is conducted near the beach, and the portable shrine is returned to the shrine. However, floats prevent the portable shrine from entering the shrine at the entrance. The floats and the portable shrine fight, and the festival reaches its climax.
●Kiriko lead the portable shrine on the first day and floats lead it on the second day.
●Wild dance of unique kiriko lanterns with paper strips.
●Floats decorated with unique dolls that are created every year.
Day: 3rd Saturday and Sunday of September
Location: Maenami area of Anamizu Town
Inquiries: Anamizu Town Policy Coordination Section (Tel: 0768-52-3790)