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mikoshi (Japanese portable shrine)

Mikoshi (Mikoshi 神輿)

A mikoshi, or portable shrine, is a temporary house for the spirit of the deity for whom the festival is being held and is carried on the shoulders of a group of men and sometimes women. Wherever the mikoshi is carried, a sacred purifying force is believed to cleanse the area, radiating blessings also. The bearers have sometimes no set route but are believed to follow the direction of the deity’s spirit. These sacred shrines come in various sizes and shapes but are usually made of wood and lacquered in black and gilded.

Nowadays, a festival using mikoshi is a chance for a community to feel united. Non-Japanese residents can be welcome to joining to carry it. If you are invited while living in Japan, participate by all means.

Its origin is believed to be at Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine which has the history of more than 1300 years. Watch the video link below.

Watch the most powerful and oldest Japanese festival using mikoshi at Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine  https://youtu.be/Z8YEqNXEa9c