In Japan it is said that there are more than 200 shinto rituals about horses throughout the country. “Yabusame” and “Ageuma” where people and horses are performed together are a brave myths with a long history in Japan. Moreover, in “Tado-Taish Shrine” and “Inabe-Jinja Shrine” of Mie prefecture where these are performed at the same time, the local residents keep treating the tradition of 800 years carefully.
Tado-Taisha Shrine is a shrine located in Tado town of Mie prefecture, and it is also related to Ise Shrine, the prefecture’s best tourist attraction. Powerful “Ageuma Shinji” (Horse Jumping Festival) is famous. “Ageuma Shinji” is a shinto ritual that is held at “Tado Festival” held in May every year. An event dedicating a horse is said to have evolved into a festival, and a horse carrying a jockey rushes up a steep slope in the approach. This Tado Festival is designated as Mie Prefectural Intangible Folk Cultural Asset.
This festival is held on May 4th and 5th every year, people who are chosen as “jockey” of “Ageuma Shinji” are going to have their special advances and come to the day. Often falling from a horse and getting hurt, it is a very dangerous shinto ritual, but the jockey is going through training ahead of time in advance.
In this shinto ritual, rich or poor harvest of agricultural crops was forecasted using six horses, but in recent years it seems to be suffering from the economic downturn. Also since it is a brave ritual, many people pray for business growth, healthy longevity, prosperity, academic achievement improvement, etc.
From long ago Mt. Tado has been believed to be the mountain where God is. Therefore, people have been praying for the peacefulness of their daily lives and the happiness of their families. It is said that it is a white horse living in Tado – Taisha Shrine since 1500 years to fulfill the role of the messenger delivering that wish to God. In Japan, since ancient times God is said to come down by a horse, the relationship between God and a horse is very deep. It seems that “Ageuma Shinji” is being done from here that the behavior of the horse is judged as the will of God.
How about a journey to Mie, enjoying shinto ritual reminiscent of the world of samurai?
Performed by a considerably rare method
Ageuma Shinji (Horse Jumping Festival) , which performed in the Tado festival (the annual festival of Tado Taisha shrine), hundreds of thousands of spectators visit Shinshin shinji (ritual event of dedication) representing this festival every year.
Ageuma Shinji is performed for a long time and tells time and a rich or poor harvest of the farming of the year. Since this Shinto ritual is performed by a considerably rare method, it is called “the strange festival of the world”.
It goes back to the 1300s
The origin of Ageuma Shinji of Tado Festival goes back to the 1300s. It is considered to be the origin that the young warrior of the samurai who possessed this neighborhood to have run up the hill on the horse for the test of courage.
In the present age, it is forecasting how rich or how poor the harvest of the coming year will be from the number and turn which the horse went up
Run up about 2.5-m cliff at a stretch
A 16 or 17-year-old youth rider putting on hanagasa (hat decorated with artificial flowers) rides on a horse in a splendid warrior figure, runs up about 2.5-m cliff at a stretch. Those who see are fascinated by the force and the feeling of tension of the figure who sat on the horse as though being part of it. The interest of local inhabitants is also high and is succeeded for a long time.
The precious folk cultural assets
By comparing Ageuma Shinji of the both sides of Tado-taisha Shrine and Inabe jinja Shrine, you can clarify the local concerned, and it becomes the precious folk cultural assets. It was specified as the immaterial folk culture assets of Mie Prefecture in 1978.
The skill in handling of horse is very brilliant
The brave figure of the small samurai who can be seen only here. The skill in handling of horse is very brilliant although being small. For them who have continued to practice diligence every day for this day, please visit and back them up.
Information(Access, Price/Charge, Tel, Address, Official site, etc.)
|Name:||Ageuma Shinji (Horse Jumping Festival)|
|Address:||Tadochotado 1681 Kuwana, Mie 511-0106 Japan|
|Access:||Yoro Tetsudo Yoro-sen Line “Tado-eki Station” (5 minutes by car)|
*Paid seating is also available