Sunday, October 18, 2015

Carpe Diem #840 Hokkaido Shrine Festival

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Greetings from a greyish The Netherlands. It's raining here since three days and this will last for the upcoming days too I think. What a joy it is to create this new episode, the new festive and colorful, episode as I look outside to the greyish weather.

Today we have a very unique Festival. It's a festival especially celebrated in Sapporo (Japan) in the Hokkaido Shrine, this is a shinto shrine. Let me first tell you a little bit more about this beautiful shinto shrine and after that I will tell you something more about the Hokkaido Shrine Festival.

Hokkaido Shrine (Sapporo Japan)

The Hokkaidō Shrine (Hokkaidō Jingū) is a Shinto shrine located in Sapporo, Japan. Sited in Maruyama Park, Chūō-ku, Sapporo, the Hokkaido Shrine enshrines four kami including the soul of the Emperor Meiji. A number of contributors of the Exploration in Hokkaidō such as Mamiya Rinzō are also enshrined.
In 1869, by an order of the Emperor Meiji, a ceremony to enshrine three kami (Shinto deities); Ōkunitama, Ōkuninushi, and Sukunahikona, was held in Tokyo. They were enshrined as the three deities of the Hokkaido reclamation (Kaitaku Sanjin), and they were later moved to Sapporo by officers in the Kaitakushi, the previous government of Hokkaidō prefecture.
An interim building of the shrine for three kami was constructed in 1870 in Sapporo, although its location was different from the current point where the Hokkaidō Shrine stands. In 1871, the shrine was erected to the current place and named as the "Sapporo Shrine" (Sapporo Jinja), and on September 14 an inaugural ceremony was held.
From 1889 through 1946, Sapporo-jinja was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha, meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines.
The soul of the Emperor Meiji was newly enshrined to the shrine in 1964, and the building was officially renamed to the current "Hokkaido Shrine".

The area of the Hokkaido Shrine is 180,000 m², and is adjacent to Maruyama Park. During the season which cherry blossoms in the area bloom, the shrine is crowded with people enjoying Hanami. Many people also visit the shrine during Japanese New Year to go Hatsumōde. 
From June 14 to 16 in every year, the Main festival of Hokkaido Shrine, also called "Sapporo Festival" (Sapporo Matsuri), is held, and the line of people bearing Mikoshi parades down the street which leads to the shrine. It also manages a Scouting activities.
The Sapporo Matsuri is a Japan festival. Hokkaido Shrine is one of the most famous Japanese temples in Hokkaido and holds a celebration every year from June 14th to June 16th. During the day time you can see groups of people carrying a portable shrine (mikoshi) , chanting and grunting in the main downtown areas of Odori and Sapporo. The men take turns parading the portable shrine around town wearing Heian era costumes, usually with no trousers!
In the evening there is a festival with many Japan food stalls, horror shows and some carnival games, such as “hit the coconuts”. The festival is held in the beautiful Nakajima Park, a short subway ride from Sapporo Station. This is the busiest festival ever, busier than any music festival because the pathways in Nakajima Park are very narrow so it gets very congested very quickly. It gets much better once you get past the paths and into the open ground area with all the carnival shows and games.
Everyone comes to this festival dressed up like going out for a night on the town, so the festival is probably a good opportunity to meet some attractive people. It’s a great atmosphere because it's usually mid-week and everyone is excited to have something to do after work or school. Also the beautiful surroundings of Nakajima park add to it. It is even possible to row boats in the lake, which is usually packed with couples.

A very nice and bright festival this is I think ... would be awesome to attend it, but ... well keep on dreaming. Here is a You Tube video about this Hokkaido Shrine Festival:

Well ... I am a bit late with this episode, but I hope it was worth the waiting.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 21st at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Gion Matsuri, later on. For now ... have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment