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One of Kyoto's Big Three Festivals, the Kyoto Jidai Matsuri is a procession of over 2,000 people dressed in wardrobe reflecting Kyoto's historical periods from 794 to 1868 during which Kyoto was Japan's capital. Held annually on Oct. 22.
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The procession starts at Kyoto Imperial Palace at noon and ends at Heian Jingu Shrine at 2:30 pm. You first see horse carriages carryiing Honorary Festival Commissioners including the city council members and the mayor of Kyoto. 名誉奉行
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Mayor of Kyoto and Jidai Matsuri banner. Very many historical figures and costumes appear in this festival. If you're a student of Japanese history, you will want to see this. 京都市長、時代祭旗It's most crowded at the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Go early if you want good views. Be prepared to sit on the ground. Festival will be postponed in case of rain.
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Chief Commissioner (Director of the Heian Kosha organization of parishioners of Heian Jingu Shrine.)総奉行(平安講社理事長)
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Meiji Restoration Period (around 1868): The procession starts with the more recent years, then progresses back in time. This is the Meiji Restoration Imperial Army procession. 明治維新時代:維新勤皇隊列
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Otsukaiban is a Meiji government administrator serving as an inspector. 御使番
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Imperial army musicians, flutists.
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Nishiki no Mihata are Imperial Army banners. 錦の御旗
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Taicho or battalion leader. 隊長、参謀、司令長
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Armed Imperial Army soldiers.
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殿士
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Meiji Restoration Patriots 維新志士列
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Meiji Restoration Patriots are key figures who helped to overthrow the samurai government and restore government power to the emperor. 維新志士列
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Katsura Kogoro 桂小五郎(木戸孝允)
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Saigo Takamori 西郷吉之助(西郷隆盛)
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Sakamoto Ryoma 坂本龍馬
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Nakaoka Shintaro 中岡慎太郎
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Takasugi Shinsaku 高杉晋作
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The next nine men are the Patriotic Court Noblemen. Maki Izumi and Kusaka Genzui here. 七卿落:真木和泉、久坂玄瑞
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Patriotic Court Noblemen: Sanjo Sanetomi, Sanjonishi Suetomo, Higashikuze Michitomi, Mibu Motonaga, Shijo Takauta, Nishikoji Yorinori, and Sawa Nobuyoshi 七卿落:三條実美、三條西季知、東久世通禧、壬生基修、四条隆詞、錦小
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Court nobles who were Meiji Restoration heros: Yoshimura Torataro, Rai Mikisaburo, and Umeda Unpin 吉村寅太郎、頼三樹三郎、梅田雲浜
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Yoshida Shoin 吉田松陰
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Court noble Konoe Tadahiro has a long train. 近衛忠熈
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Anenokoji Kintomo 姉小路公知
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Sanjo Sanetsumu 三條実萬
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Nakayama Tadayasu 中山忠能
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Hirano Kuniomi 平野国臣
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Edo Period (1600-1868): Procession of Tokugawa Shogun's Deputies 江戸時代:徳川城使洛列
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For important Imperial events, the Tokugawa shogun sent his deputies as his representatives. The entourage was as large as 1,700 people.
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Nagamochi luggage carriers
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Nagamochi luggage carriers 長持
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Yakko were manual laborers employed by the samurai. They carried luggage during trips, etc. 奴
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Yakko
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Archers 弓徒士
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Gun carriers followed by pole spear bearers.
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目附頭
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具足
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Bow and arrows
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Shogun's deputy 城使
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Shogun's deputy 城使
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Palanquin for the shogun's deputy. Normally the deputy rides in this, but for this procession, he rides on a horse.
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Rear guard 跡乗番頭
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Luggage carriers
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Procession of Edo Period Ladies (1600-1868). A whole slew of photogenic women. 江戸時代婦人列
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Princess Kazunomiya heads this group. She was the sister of Emperor Komei and was married to Shogun Tokugawa Iemochi at age 16. She wears a 12-layer kimono. 和宮
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Princess Kazunomiya 和宮
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和宮
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Otagaki Rengetsu was a poet. 太田垣蓮月
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Gyokuran was a noted painter and poet. Married Ikeno Taiga, a famous painter. 玉瀾
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Wife of Nakamura Kuranosuke, a wealthy businessman. A socialite. 中村内蔵助の妻
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Wife of Nakamura Kuranosuke 中村内蔵助の妻
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Kaji was a poet and operator of a tea house. 梶
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Yoshino Tayu, a high-ranking geiko entertainer. 吉野太夫
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Yoshino Tayu, a high-ranking geiko entertainer. 吉野太夫1 comments
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Izumo-no-Kami, shrine maiden from Izumo Shrine and Tokugawa descendant. In Kyoto, she performed a prayer dance which became the origin of kabuki. 出雲阿国
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Izumo-no-Kami 出雲阿国
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Disciple of Izumo-no-Kami 弟子
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Disciple of Izumo-no-Kami 弟子
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The Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1568-1600) is represented by the Toyotomi Hideyoshi procession. 安土桃山時代:豊公参朝列
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The procession includes the Five Commissioners (Go-Bugyō) appointed by Hideyoshi. One of them was Lord Maeda Gen'i. 前田玄以
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Another one was Lord Ishida Mitsunari. 石田三成
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Lord Ishida Mitsunari 石田三成
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Lord Asano Nagamasa 浅野長政
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Ox cart 牛車
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Ox
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Lord Mashita Nagamori (増田 長盛)
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Lord Natsuka Masaie is the fifth commssioner in Hideyoshi's administration. (長束 正家)
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The Azuchi-Momoyama Period continues with Oda Nobunaga's procession, reenacting his entry into Kyoto. 織田公上洛列
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立入宗継
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Hashiba Hideyoshi (later known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi) was Nobunaga's right-hand man. 羽柴秀吉
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Lord Hashiba Hideyoshi 羽柴秀吉
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The procession features many armored men and arms. Coming next is Niwa Nagahide. 丹羽長秀
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Lord Niwa Nagahide 丹羽長秀
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Soldiers
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Oda Nobunaga 織田信長
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Oda Nobunaga started the unification of Japan. 織田信長
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Luggage
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Takigawa Kazumasu 滝川一益
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Lord Shibata Katsuie 柴田勝家
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Lord Shibata Katsuie marired Oichi, Nobunaga's younger sister. With those helmet appendages, he must've been easy to spot in a crowd. 柴田勝家
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Next is the Muromachi Period (1338-1573) that features more samurai. 室町時代:室町幕府執政列
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Muromachi Shogunate Procession. This is the Ashikaga shogunate. 室町幕府執政列
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Ise-shi, minister of financial affairs. 伊勢氏
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Ashikaga shogun 足利将軍
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Hosokawa-shi, shogun's assistant for government affairs. 細川氏
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Hosokawa-shi 細川氏
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Hosokawa-shi 細川氏
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Yamana-shi, officer of shogunate security. 山名氏
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Nikaido-shi, supervisor of judicial and government councils. 二階堂氏
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Nikaido-shi 二階堂氏
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Cleanup crew for horses.
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Procession of Muromachi customs 室町洛中風俗列
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This procession centers on the Furyu odori dance (風流踊り) which was popular among the masses in Kyoto during the Muromachi Period. Sometimes they stop to perform the dance. Lucky if they perform in front of you. 室町洛中風俗列
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Leather taiko drummers
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Musicians
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Flutists
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Dancers 側踊り
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Yoshino Period (1333-1392) 吉野時代:楠公上洛列
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Procession of Kusunoki Masashige 楠公上洛列
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Conch shell blower 貝役
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Kikusui crest banner 菊水紋旗旗差
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Banner bearer 菊水紋旗旗差
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Another banner bearer 錦旗旗差
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Kusunoki Masashige 楠木正成
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Kusunoki Masashige 楠木正成
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Kusunoko Masasue, younger brother of Masashige. 楠木正季
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Samurai Daisho commander. 侍大将
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Soldiers carrying various weapons. 兵
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Medieval (Kamakura and Muromachi Periods) women laborers procession 中世婦人列(鎌倉 ・室町時代) :大原女
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Ohara-me women are from Ohara in northern Kyoto (Rakuhoku). They traveled to Kyoto city to sell firewood and charcoal carried on their heads. 大原女
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Katsura-me women are from Katsura in western Kyoto. They went into the city to sell fish and sweets. T 桂女
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Katsura-me women. The white cloth wrapped around their head was their trademark. 桂女
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Lady Yodogimi, wife of Hideyoshi and daughter (Chacha) of Azai Nagamasa 淀君(浅井長政娘 茶々)
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Lady Yodogimi died in Osaka Castle along with her son during a siege by Tokugawa Ieyasu. They picked a fine woman to portray Yodogimi. 淀君
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Lady Yodogimi's maids.
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Madame Fujiwara Tameie was the author of the Izayoi Nikki diary in 1277. 藤原為家の室
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Madame Fujiwara Tameie is depicted in her travel clothes. Very photogenic. 藤原為家の室
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Lady Shizuka-gozen is dressed as a Heian-Period court dancer. 静御前(源義経の室)
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Lady Shizuka-gozen was the tragic concubine of Minamoto Yoshitsune. 静御前
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Now the Kamakura Period (1192-1333) 鎌倉時代
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Jonan Yabusame archers. 城南流鏑馬列
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Jonan Yabusame archers. 城南流鏑馬列
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Yabusame is a mounted archer who tries to strike three targets in a row while galloping at full speed. 謝手武士
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Yabusame archer targets.
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Yabusame archer 謝手武士
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Yabusame archer 謝手武士
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More archers.
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Child 童
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Yabusame target
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Fujiwara Period (898–1185) 藤原時代:藤原公卿参朝列
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This procession shows costumes of Imperial court nobles. Chinese influence waned and Japan started to develop its own costume style.
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Bunkan were government officials who were not warriors. 文官
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For sitting.
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殿上人 文官
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My favorite part of this festival is this Procession of Heian Period Ladies. This is Tomoe Gozen. 平安時代婦人列:巴御前
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Tomoe Gozen is one of my favorites. She was the wife of Minamoto no Yoshinaka and went to battle with him. She wears samurai armor (for men). A macho woman. 巴御前
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Tomoe Gozen is the only woman in the procession wearing samurai armor and weapons. 巴御前
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More Heian Period ladies.
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Yokobue was a court servant who fell in love with Takiguchi-no-Tokiyori, a warrior. His family rejected her and he sought solace by becoming a priest. She is on her way to visit him in the Saga area of Kyoto. 横笛
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Tokiwa-gozen was a concubine of Minamoto no Yoshitomo. She is shown with her children. 常磐御前
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Tokiwa-gozen's son
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Pulled on a cart are Sei-Shonagon and Lady Murasaki Shikibu. 清少納言、紫式部
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Lady Murasaki Shikibu (left) was the author of Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari). Sei-Shonagon (right) authored "The Pillow Book" and wears a juni-hitoe 12-layer kimono. 清少納言、紫式部
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Kino Tsurayuki-no-Musume was the daughter of famous poet Tsurayuki. 紀貫之の女
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Ono no Komachi was a famous poet reputed to be exceptionally beautiful. She wrote many poems about love as she had many love affairs. 小野小町
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Ono no Komachi's maid. 侍女
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Wake-no-Hiromushi was a caretaker of many orphan children. She was a catalyst for Japan's orphanages. 和気広虫
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Wake-no-Hiromushi 和気広虫
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Wake-no-Hiromushi's orphan kids
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Kudara O Myoshin was the wife of a prominent government official. Chief Lady in Waiting for Emperor Kammu. 百済王明信
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Enryaku Period (782-806) 延暦時代:延暦武官行進列
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Procession of Enryaku Period Court Warriors 延暦武官行進列
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将佐
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Sakamoto Tamuramaro 坂上田村麻呂
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副将
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将佐
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将佐
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Procession of Enryaku Period Court Nobles 延暦文官参朝列
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The color of the noble's wardrobe indicated his rank.
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The costumes of this period has a strong Chinese influence.
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Procession of Offerings to the Gods 神饌講社列
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These are members of the Kyoto Restaurant Association who are entrusted with making offerings for Heian Shrine.
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Procession Preceding the Palanquins (Zen-retsu) 前列
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This procession provides music and dance prior to the palanquins.
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In green is the Kocho dancer with butterfly wings. In orange is the Karyobinga.
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Karyobinga depicts a beautiful bird which lives in the Pure Land (Heaven). 迦陵頻伽
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Karyobinga 迦陵頻伽
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Shinko-retsu Procession is the heart (and spirits) of the Kyoto Jidai Matsuri. It features two palanquins bearing the spirit of two emperors. 神幸列
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The first palanquin bears the spirit of Emperor Komei. 御鳳輦
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Palanquin (horen) bearing the spirit of Emperor Komei. 孝明天皇 御鳳輦
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The second palanquin (horen) bears the spirit of Emperor Kammu. 桓武天皇 御鳳輦
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Shrine priest
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Director's carriage 総長
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Procession magistrates 列奉行
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Procession of Shirakawa-me. 白川女献花列
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Shirakawa-me were women from Shirakawa River (below Mt. Hiei) who grew and sold flowers. They began bringing flowers to the Imperial Court as gifts during the Heian Period. 白川女献花列
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Shirakawa-me woman. 白川女献花列
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The Procession of Archers is the last group of this festival.
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The Tamba area of Kyoto (now Kameoka) had skilled archers. These archers were employed to protect Emperor Kammu's entourage while the Heian capital was being moved.
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These men are descendants of the original archers who protected Emperor Kammu. 弓箭組列
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From the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the procession proceeds on main roads to Heian Shrine.
 
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