The Kingyo Mikoshi at Kingyo Matsuri
d0160582_8164843.jpgWhile viewing artwork being created by children, we heard the announcement, “Kingyo mikoshi* ga hajimarimasu! (A goldfish mikoshi will start!) Oatsumari kudasai---! (Come and join us!)”.

“Goldfish mikoshi?!” I was excited to join the parade. I could see some big, red object in the distance. As we approached, I wondered "Isn't that a goldfish? Yes, it is!” It’s a mikoshi (portable shrine) which is in the shape of a goldfish.
It is really big!!

d0160582_8173459.jpgLooking at the goldfish mikoshi in detail, you can see it has an open mouth. What a charming mikoshi! “Compared to the real size, how much bigger is it?” I wonder. A lot of children began to gather. Some children came by individually to carry the portable shrine, and others *especially really small children) were taken by their parents. There were also children who decided just to watch. Since it was a rainy day, the kingyo mikoshi had a transparent raincoat (means, coated vinyl bag) while the children wore colorful raincoats. It made for a beautiful color contrast!

Not only children, but the staff wore the traditional jacket, called “Hanten”, to look forward to carry the kingyo mikoshi. They taught the children how to carry the mikoshi safely and raise the morale. Dangling a bell around the neck and grasping the bridle, now it’s time to carry the kingyo mikoshi!
They look a little bit nervous, right?
Let’s go, everybody!
Wa-sshoi! Wa-sshoi!

d0160582_8191284.jpgThey started walking in a shrine, saying "Wa-sshoi! Wa-sshoi!" with an ashamed look. Under the kingyo mikoshi, there was a child who was walking with his mother. He was short enough to touch the mikoshi. He seemed to question “What is going on here? Where’s everyone heading for?", which made me really happy to see.

*mikoshi: A mikoshi is an ornate palanquin-like portable shrine in which the ghost or spirit of a Shinto shrine deity is believed to ride. During shrine festivals, scores of believers wind through the town carrying the mikoshi on their shoulders.

In spite of the rainy weather, a lot of children came to the goldfish festival. As I mentioned in my previous article, I gained many insights as a result of this event. In the future, I definitely want to be a part of these kinds of traditional festivals.

Yoyogi-hachiman Shinto shrine
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by TOKYO_YUCa_ENG | 2010-06-14 22:29 | -Shibuya

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