Suimu Shrine Annual Festival

Rolling Portable Shrine – Eccentric Local Festival

(English version video. 1min. 40sec)

 In Kiso town, they build a new wooden portable shrine (Mikoshi in Japanese) every year and break it on the festival day, the 23rd of July.
 The chief priest of the Suimu shine designates two spiritually prepared carpenters a few months before the festival day. They work hard for one month with all their hearts. The new Mikoshi weighs over 400kg. Besides its size, the added sophistication of the woodwork is just marvelous.

Why do they roll the Mikoshi to break?

 Once upon a time, two brothers called Sosuke and Kosuke in Kiso went to work as woodcraft men at a shrine in Hida (present Gifu prefecture). One day, a war broke out in the Hida district. Sosuke and Kosuke carried Mikoshi out of the shrine to save the sacred treasure. When they reached the pass between Hida and Kiso, the people of Hida followed them and tried to take the Mikoshi back. So, two brothers dropped the Mikoshi and rolled it down from the mountain, and finally, they reached Kiso. It is the legend behind the Rolling Shrine festival.

The Suimu Shrine(水無神社)

The Precincts of Suimu Shrine. Nice and quiet.

After the festival is over, the broken Mikoshi will be displayed until next year.

The mikoshi will be cut in pieces to be burnt on new year ceremony.

The ceiling of Suimu shrine main hall.

Old trees at the precincts of Suimu Shrine. One of my favorite place.