Omikoshi parade in Japan

So we heard that there’s a a matsuri, Japanese festival in the hubz small town – a mikoshi parade and children are invited.

A mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine, carried in the streets by dozens of people. They can be very expensive as they are often gold plated and sometimes encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires like the big Ichi-no-Miya mikoshi in Tokyo. The mikoshi that we saw in the hubz’s town was however small because it’s a kodomo-mikoshi and carried by children.

omikoshi

The parade:

parade

The children carrrying the mikoshi regularly stop to dance merrily, tossing the mikoshi up and down, timed at the beat of a taiko (Japanese drum).

stop-and-praise

Right behind the mikoshi, there’s a wooden cart carrying children. It is believed that the children inside the cart will enjoy good health all throughout the year.

omikoshi-ride

Praying for good health is always a good thing so we signed up. Actually, my MIL signed Pristine up well before we arrived in their town to secure a place in the cart.

getting-ready-for-omikoshi-again

She doesn’t understand any of the merry chanting but she seems to be enjoying the ride.

omikoshi-again

It’s a little bit packed inside the cart. The children up close:

inside-omikoshi

From a distance, her face says it all. “Uhm, mom? Can you remind me again why I have to be inside this cart?”

packed-with-children

Pristine isn’t used to the Japanese festivals but she enjoyed it very much. I can’t wait for our next trip to expose and educate her of the other Japanese traditions.

happy-pristine

Though in the middle of the parade, she ponders on her future.

ponders-on-her-future

After an hour of parading in the streets, the mikoshi bearers had to take a break.

The mikoshi resting at the side of the street:

omikoshi-2

The children were treated with kakigori (shaved ice with flavored syrup), a dessert very popular during summer festivals in Japan. Pristine loved it very much.

stop-for-shaved-ice-cream

The hubz cousin asked me if I would like my photo taken with my daughter. Of course, I said yes! Now, Pristine wouldn’t grow up thinking her mom don’t want to be in any picture with her.

street-stop-with-mom

These photos were taken during our summer vacation in Japan in August 2008. Do check out my other Japan related posts if you liked this story.

5 thoughts on “Omikoshi parade in Japan

  1. Oh, that is amazing! I love all the cultural activities you guys participate in 😀
    It looked like Pristine had a fun time even though she didn’t know what it was for!! Lol

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  2. Even though I don’t understan it, I always seem to enjoy watching Japanese festivals on TV. The people always seem happy, and the children are always dressed so festive. The joy shows on Pristine’s face. I know it is difficult for you when you visit Japan (you are the foreign wife, teehee), but I do hope you get to take Pristine back again soon.

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