Saikai Festival is conducted jointly by the two fishery centers of Kazanashi (Saikai Shrine) and Futo (Matsugashita Shrine) to pray for a good catch and the safety of fishermen. Women participate in the festival instead of men in these areas, since men have traditionally been out fishing or on trips. This is why women carry the kiriko (lantern floats) in this festival.
When the Togi-miyuki drum is beaten as the sun sets into the Sea of Japan, the festival begins. A mikoshi (portable shrine) and kiriko are carried around town while revelers sing the festival song.
When the procession arrives at the intersection of five roads on the boundary of the two areas, the festival reaches its climax. The kiriko are carried up the hill one by one, and dance wildly at the top.
The female kiriko carriers are just as brave as their male counterparts. They fascinate the audience, as they perform energetically, dressed in a yukata, a kimono underskirt and a white apron.
When they return to their respective shrines, the portable shrine and kiriko start to fight. The kiriko carriers and local residents try to stop the portable shrine from entering the shrine to prevent the festival from ending. The portable shrine and kiriko dance wildly, and the excitement builds. It is well worth a visit to the fishing village to see this dance, which goes on for a long time; the festival continues until midnight.
●Spectacular performance by brave female kiriko carriers.
●Wild dance performance while climbing up the hill.
●Hard fighting by the portable shrine and kiriko in the shrine precincts.
Date: August 14th
Location: Futo and Kazanashi areas in Shika Town
Inquiries: Shika Town Commerce and Tourism Section (Tel: 0767-32-1111)