The most exciting festivals in Tokyo, the Sanja Matsuri “Three Shrine Festival”, has revived for the first time in three years, although some parts scaled down, I’ve been there for three days.
After two years of silence, the voice of the festival returns to Asakusa. The night before the first day the head priest of Asakusa Shrine performs a ritual to invite the spirits of the shrine in main building and transfer into the three main mikoshi, portable shrines.
Rei-taisai, the most important Shinto ritual held in annually to express for having spent the year safely and pray for future safety, is operated in front of and in the Syaden, main building. During the ritual of purification for the attendees by the head of priest, it began to rain heavily.
Binzasara dance is a type of Dengaku, dancing and music originally performed at agricultural festival to pray for a good harvest. Bin-zasara in Asakusa shrine is said to have continued since the Kamakura period in the 14th century. When the confetti is sprinkled by the performers, the worshipers give a big cheer.
It is a dance performed by the shrine maiden of Asakusa Shrine with gagaku, Japanese traditional music.
During Miyadashi, three portable shrines “Ichinomiya: First shrine “, t”Ninomiya: Second shrine” and “Sannomiya: Third shrine”, which are enshrined in Asakusa Shrine, pass through the torii gate from the precincts and come out.
Then, the portable shrines that came out of the precincts are placed on the dollies. Ornamental like Bamboo are displayed on the portable shrine, and they are ready to go out to the town.
A procession of portable shrines passes by the side of Nitenmon and finally goes out to the town. The parade is greeted by the long-awaited people of Asakusa.
Various events are held in the precincts as the portable shrine advances. The shrine maiden dance was also performed yesterday by shrine’s maiden, but today it is a performed by students studying the maiden dance in a classroom hosted by Asakusa Shrine in order to preserve such traditional culture.
Geisha belong to Asakusa association performs dances. Geisya are professional entertainers whi are trained in various traditional Japanese arts, such as dance and music, as well as in the art of communication. A powerful Japanese drum performance was performed in front of the Kagura hall.
The portable shrine that traveled around 44 towns in one day is finally back. Lanterns of 44 parishioners lead the procession.
Then, the portable shrines that have been placed on the dollies and traveled all towns wait for the time to enter shrine’s precincts. And finally, the final climax, Miyairi, return to shrine.
You can watch full varsion of my YouTube video for three days festival.