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Held annually on May 5 by Ozu Jinja Shrine, the festival consists of dances and music by children, taiko drumming, a naginata dance and acrobatics by boys using a pole sword, and a roundtrip procession. Ozu Jinja Shrine torii. 小津神社
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Wearing hanagasa flower hats, the dancers performed here near the shrine before proceeding to Ozu Shrine. MAP
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The festival is also called Naginata Matsuri (festival) and Naginata-furi held in Moriyama, Shiga. 長刀振り
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At Ozu Shrine, everyone went to worship upon arrival.
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Naginata boys
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These boys are carrying a long sword called naginata. Later they will perform acrobatics (dance) with the naginata.
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They all performed again at Ozu Shrine.
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Also see my YouTube video here.
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This is an Intangible Folk Culture Property.
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Flute players
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Flute players pose for a picture.
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Flower hat girls pose for a picture.
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Flower hat dancers at Naginata Matsuri, Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture.
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Boy drummers.
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Taiko drum troupe
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While ringing a bell, he provided the dance beat for the flower hat girls.
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Naginata Festival Preservation Committee members.
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The mikoshi portable shrines are taken out.
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Some middle-aged (or older) men carry the mikoshi.
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Three mikoshi and two children's mikoshi are placed in front of the shrine to be blessed.
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Mikoshi being blessed.
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The procession from Ozu Shrine to Ozu Wakamiya Shrine begins.
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Mikoshi starts to leave.
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Naginata bearers leave.
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Everyone else leave Ozu Shrine.
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The procession was quite long, when the children were joined by their parents.
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Children's mikoshi make its way.
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A short break at the Ozu Shrine torii.
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After arriving at Ozu Wakamiya Shrine a few kilometers away, they rested until 3 pm when they started up again. The mikoshi were first carried around the shrine grounds.
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Ozu Wakamiya Jinja Shrine torii. 小津若宮神社
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They noisily carried the mikoshi around the neighborhood.
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Despite their advanced age, these men were still quite lively.
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The mikoshi leaves the area amid a spectator-lined road.
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Before leaving Ozu Wakamiya Shrine, the boys performed their naginata dance which were more acrobatic than a dance.
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Naginata odori dance
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Naginata odori dance in Moriyama, Shiga. Also see my YouTube video here.
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Unfortunately, it later rained in the afternoon.
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Amid rain, the procession going back to Ozu Shrine.
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Rain never dampens the spirit of the people carrying a mikoshi.
     
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