Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nagata Jinja Matsuri

More summer matsuri goodness, July 17th was the Nagata-jinja summer festival near my apartment in Nagata, Kōbe. This festival had a much different flavor then either Gion or Ikutamasan, it was much smaller and was mostly a neighborhood affair. Though it had many of the same foods and yatai - they were prepared and sold by smaller local businesses, organizations, or families. The events were also quite different, the grounds of the shrine were aglow from lanterns decorated by local school children, traditional dancing was held in and around a large stage and a Chinowa (a large ring made of thatch) was erected on the pathway leading to a shrine - people step through the ring as an act of purification from misdeeds (tsumi), impurities (kegare), or bad luck.

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