At the end of July, halfway through the year according to the lunar calendar, the Minazuki Festival takes place in the Najimi area of Nanao City. During the festival, a Shinto ceremony is held to expel the impurities of the previous six months.
At 11 o’clock at night on the first day, fireworks are set off, and five portable shrines and kiriko floats from each neighborhood are paraded around the town on their way to the beach. Kiriko lanterns show the way, leading the portable shrines in the darkness. They are accompanied by festival songs, which raise the mood of the festival.
After completion of a Shinto ceremony at the beach, the portable shrines and kiriko lanterns dance wildly in the playground of Najimi Junior High School. The kiriko lanterns create beautiful lines of light in response to four types of music. In the middle of the night, large bonfires are lit, and portable shrines dance around them. When the bonfires burn out, people fight for three gohei and the festival reaches its climax.
On the second day, a purification ceremony takes place at the mouth of Najimi River. A shaft decorated with sakaki branches is dipped in the sea to expel impurities. The ceremony takes place while five portable shrines are standing in row on the beach under the hot summer sun; this scene seems to purify the spectators as well. After the ceremony, the portable shrines return to Sumiyoshi Shrine. The festival ends in a calm atmosphere.
●A typical kiriko festival based on the Shinto ceremony for surviving the summer.
●Fighting for the gohei on top of the bonfire.
●Four types of festival music for the parade.
Day: July 30th and 31st
Location: Najimi area of Wajima City
Inquiries: Wajima City Tourism Section (Tel: 0768-23-1146)