Kamakura of Kanagawa Prefecture, which is an ancient capital and is also popular from overseas as a sightseeing spot. The famous shrine of this place is “Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine“. “Rei-taisai” (regular rites and festivals) to be held at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is a popular festival where visitors come from all over the country as well as in Kamakura.
Rei-taisai is held every 3 days from September 14th to 16th every year. This “Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Rei-taisai” is originated from “Hojo-e” (Rite to show thanks and respect to living creatures) and “Yabusame” (the art of shooting arrows on horseback) which was done by Minamoto no Yoritomo in the Kamakura period in 1180. It is a festival with history and tradition that has been going on for more than 800 years. In the autumn festival near the Kanto region, it is a festival with many heighlites.
Because it is a historical shrine, everyone who participates in shinto ritual wears traditional clothes. It is such a rigorous festival that you forget that this is modern Japan.
Among the many shinto rituals, the most famous event is “Yabusame”. At the Yabusame Riding Ground in the precincts of the shrine, the archer wearing the hunt’s clothes shoots three places one after another while straddling the running horse. Many tourists visit each year to see the brave shape.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine ‘s Yabusame is held twice, in the autumn of Rei-taisai and spring ‘Kamakura Festival’. The Yabusame of the spring Kamakura Festival is hosted by the Kamakura Tourist Association, so there are paying seats available. On the other hand, the autumn ‘s Rei – taisai is a shinto ritual by Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, so unfortunately there are no selling seats for advance sale. Therefore, if you want to see it in front of you as much as possible, you need to go early and secure a place. Yabusame will be done after 14 o’clock. From 12 o’clock the viewer’s seat is crowded with people, so if you go from there and secure a place, you can see it in the front.
You can see the shooter dressed in the hunting clothes of the Kamakura period shoots “Kaburaya” (a whistling arrow) shooter on its running horses. Please check out a powerful event by your eyes.
It is “Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine Reitaisai Festival” to be performed every year in Tsuruoka-shi, Kanagawa in September. Since it started in 1187, there have been the history and tradition more than 800 years.
The festival is performed for three days from September 14. Many tourists visit to “Yabusame Shinji (horseback archery event)” performed especially on the 16th.
It is the Shinto festival of 800 years to shoot the mark setting in the riding ground with an arrow while running horseback. In Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, it was the beginning to have dedicated Yabusame in the time of the Yoritomo Minamoto as annual festival called Hojo-e (Rite to show thanks and respect to living creatures).
Now, the Ogasawara school is dedicated Yabusame performed in September every year.
When time of Yabusame Shinji approaches, the maintenance of the riding ground is carried out in Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. The width of this riding ground is made narrowly so as not to think that a horse runs through it. It is very difficult for an archer to shoot arrows at a target while riding a horse at a narrow riding ground.
In this shrine ritual, many people flock to the precincts. In an intense atmosphere, it is spectacular the horse zipping past us at breakneck speed. At the greatest highlight when an arrow is shot, it is mixed by the sigh and cheer of admiration and bring a lot of excitement.
It is recommend you to see at once the spectacle in which archer who wearing in the hunting costume shoots a mark from on the horse which runs with sufficient vigor. It seems to be popular among not only domestic people but also the tourists from the foreign countries recently.
|Name:||Yabusame Shinji of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine|
|Address:||Yukinoshita Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0005 Japan|
|Access:||JR Yokosuka-sen Line “Kamakura-eki Station” (10 minutes walk)|