Last additions - Tsuchiyama Saio Princess Procession あいの土山斎王群行
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The Saio then went on the stage. This was the festival's final ceremony called Otsukishiki (Arrival Ceremony) at the Tarumi Tongu site. お着き式Apr 01, 2009
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The tea is given to the Uneme (釆女) attendant in charge of food.Apr 01, 2009
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Tea fields next to Tarumi Tongu. When the Saio princess was called back to Kyoto, she took a different route back to Kyoto.Apr 01, 2009
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Notice the little shrine in the background to mark the Tarumi Tongu site. 皆さん、大変お疲れさまでした。とても優雅なお祭りでした。皆に伝えます。Apr 01, 2009
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The tea master makes the tea.Apr 01, 2009
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Banners for the Saio Gunko festival. It was a great festival and highly recommended. A lot of people were behind the scenes to hold this festival, and thanks to them too.Apr 01, 2009
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The tea is brought to the tea master.Apr 01, 2009
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Uneme takes the tea bowl back. This ended the festival at around 4 pm. I really enjoyed this festival. It was worth the long trip to come here.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio receives the tea.Apr 01, 2009
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Again they danced the Dochu-mai. Same one as at the last stop.Apr 01, 2009
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Tarumi Tongu is a well-forested area amid tea fields. After Tarumi Tongu, the Saio princess crossed over the Suzuka mountains and stayed at the Suzuka (鈴鹿) Tongu and Itsushi (壱志) Tongu in Mie Prefecture.Apr 01, 2009
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Closing remarks. For more info about the festival, call 0748-66-1602 (in Japanese). Note that if it rains, everything is held inside the Ono Elementary School Gymnasium.Apr 01, 2009
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Then gives it to the attendant.Apr 01, 2009
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The Uneme takes the bowl of tea to the Saio.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio sits and waits for her bowl of green tea.Apr 01, 2009
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Also see my photos of the Aoi Matsuri here.Apr 01, 2009
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Saio goes back to her palanquin.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio drinks the tea.Apr 01, 2009
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National Historic Site of Tarumi Tongu. From 886 to 1264 (378 years), a total of 31 Saio princesses lodged at Tarumi Tongu. 垂水頓宮 Apr 01, 2009
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Saio princess in Tsuchiyama, Koka.Apr 01, 2009
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Saio passing by tea field.Apr 01, 2009
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About Tarumi Tongu. (垂水頓宮) Tongu means temporary palace. There were five of them for the Saio princess between Kyoto and the Saiku palace in Ise.Apr 01, 2009
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The first Saio watches a dance performance.Apr 01, 2009
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Entrance to Tarumi Tongu. The five Tongu palaces were built anew for each Saio procession and then dismantled after the procession was completed. Therefore, there is no remains of the palaces, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact location.Apr 01, 2009
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In the background is a stone monument marking the area as the site of the Tarumi Tongu palace.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio princess arrives at Tarumi Tongu.Apr 01, 2009
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Saio and tea plants.Apr 01, 2009
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Tsuchiyama is famous for tea. We saw a number of tea fields along the procession route.Apr 01, 2009
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Only the location of the Tarumi Tongu in Tsuchiyama is known today. The exact locations of the other Tongu palaces are unknown, but two others were in Shiga, called the Seta (勢多) and Kafuka (鹿深) Tongu.Apr 01, 2009
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They carry her to the wheeled cart. Modern men are too weak to carry such a heavy palanquin.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio Gunko procession proceeds through tea fields on the way to Tarumi Tongu.Apr 01, 2009
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Inside Tarumi Tongu. Today, it is just a small forested area with a monument. The names and dates of all 31 Saio princesses who stayed in Tarumi Tongu are known today.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio gets out of her palanquin.Apr 01, 2009
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Saio makes her way to her place.Apr 01, 2009
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There were surprisingly few spectators.Apr 01, 2009
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Placard bearersApr 01, 2009
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The Saio princess in her palanquin. Notice that the palanquin's screens on all four sides are rolled up.Apr 01, 2009
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Route to the Tarumi Tongu palace site.Apr 01, 2009
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The first break was at the Ichiba Kumin Hiroba square.(市場区民広場)Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio is actually on a wheeled cart.Apr 01, 2009
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They gathered at Maeno Community West Hiroba Square (前野集会所西広場) at about 2:40 pm.Panorama shot.Apr 01, 2009
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The Dochumai was performed. 道中舞Apr 01, 2009
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Saio princess of the Ai-no-Tsuchiyama Saio Gunko Matsuri festival in March.Apr 01, 2009
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The procession arrived at about 2 pm.Apr 01, 2009
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They actually carried her to the wheeled cart.Apr 01, 2009
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Back of the archer.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio princess makes her way to her place. I wondered why the others didn't bow to her as she passed by.Apr 01, 2009
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A nice performance area for a dance performance.Apr 01, 2009
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Saio princess and child attendants.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio princess was poised as always, despite the winds and sun and the heavy costume.Apr 01, 2009
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Another stop was made at the Maeno Community West Hiroba Square (前野集会所西広場) in front of Chianji temple (地安禅寺).Apr 01, 2009
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Marker for the site of the former Tarumi Tongu palace.Apr 01, 2009
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Coming through an avenue of pine trees on the old Tokaido Road. The procession is led by a patrol car with a speaker blaring out a Saio song.Apr 01, 2009
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Afterward, the Saio goes back into her palanquin.Apr 01, 2009
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Marker for the site of the former Tarumi Tongu palace.Apr 01, 2009
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The backdrop was quite dramatic with the temple gate.Apr 01, 2009
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Saio princess going to Tarumi Tongu in Tsuchiyama, Shiga.Apr 01, 2009
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Saio procession through the town. I was surprised to see so few spectators even though this was really a gorgeous procession.Apr 01, 2009
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They danced to recorded music.Apr 01, 2009
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Saio arrives at Maeno.Apr 01, 2009
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Ichiba Kumin Hiroba square.(市場区民広場)Apr 01, 2009
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Saio princess in juni-hitoe kimono.Apr 01, 2009
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The last person in the procession is the Kacho guard.Apr 01, 2009
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This is the Naishi (内侍), a court lady who served in the palace of the empress (中宮). During the Saio procession, she is at the service of the Saio princess. Apr 01, 2009
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These four are the Beiju (陪従) gagaku (ancient court music) musicians who played for Imperial visits and the Saio procession. (During the festival, they never played anything and there was a separate gagaku troupe.)Apr 01, 2009
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The gagaku musicians were from the Shiga Gagaku-kai troupe. Apr 01, 2009
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The woman in purple is a court lady called the Myobu (命婦), an assistant who tends to the immediate needs of the Saio princess.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio princess was an unmarried family member of the emperor, often the daughter. Chosen by divination, she was sometimes very young, like age 8. The palanquin bearers are called Yocho (輿丁) who were chosen from the best gentlemen. 斎王Apr 01, 2009
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Bearer of a sign saying, "Saio."Apr 01, 2009
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Another Myobu, followed by a man in white who is the Hakucho (白丁), a guide and guard of the court ladies. Apr 01, 2009
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Those people in the Heian Period sure knew how to make distinguished people look distinguished.Apr 01, 2009
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These four men are Kyoto government officials called Kyoshiki Kannin (京職官人).Apr 01, 2009
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They first introduced all the people in the Saio Princess Procession.Apr 01, 2009
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A pair of court ladies called the Nyoju (女嬬) who serve in the inner palace (後宮) and takes care of the Saio princess' daily living. Behind is the Torimono-toneri (執物舎人) holding an umbrella and related to the emperor or Imperial family.Apr 01, 2009
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The first (and last) character in the procession is the Kacho, an archer and the head of security. 火長Apr 01, 2009
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Entrance to the gym.Apr 01, 2009
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Posing for a photo.Apr 01, 2009
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Kacho archer. (They didn't have guns yet.)Apr 01, 2009
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The Tsuchiyama Saio Princess Procession left the gymnasium at around 1:30 pm.Apr 01, 2009
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Placard holders called Waranbe (童部).Apr 01, 2009
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Inside the gym for the Departure ceremony. The Saio princess arrives through the back door.Apr 01, 2009
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Group picture. About 80 people participated in the procession.Apr 01, 2009
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A dance by the Warawame child attendants. Apr 01, 2009
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This is a unique court lady called the Uneme (釆女) chosen from an aristocratic family and who was in charge of food and drink. She wears a special wardrobe. She is played by Emi Oe (大江絵巳) from Kyoto.Apr 01, 2009
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The woman on the right is the Onna Betto (or Nyo-betto) (女別当) who was the supervisor of the court ladies at special occasions such as the Saio procession. The lady behind her is another Nyoju court lady. And in the end is the Zoshiki (雑色) handymApr 01, 2009
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Mayor of Koka gives a speech. (Tsuchiyama is in the city of Koka.)Apr 01, 2009
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Festival committee chairman gives a speech.Apr 01, 2009
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Saio princess on a pedestal. The woman in the green kimono behind her was always with her, helping her with her kimono as she moved about.Apr 01, 2009
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At Yume no Ogawa park, there is a small stream where the Saio princess performed the Misogi-shiki purification ceremony. 禊ぎ式 夢の小川Apr 01, 2009
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At Yume no Ogawa park, the Saio princess performed the Misogi-shiki purification ceremony in Tsuchiyama, Shiga. 禊ぎ式Apr 01, 2009
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Following the Saio are more Myobu and Nyoju court ladies and the Hakucho guide in white.Apr 01, 2009
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This festival reenacts the Tsuchiyama leg of the Saio Princess Procession. It started at Ono Elementary School and proceeded to the site of Tarumi Tongu, one of the five temporary palaces for the Saio.Apr 01, 2009
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The three girls are called Warame (童女). They are daughters of the Imperial family or nobility and are learning the customs of the Imperial Court while living in the Imperial Palace. Played by girls from Koka.Apr 01, 2009
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Myobu and Nyoju court ladies and the Hakucho guide in white.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio procession heads for the gymnasium for another ceremony.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio procession was one of the largest of its kind at the time, with up to 500 people.Apr 01, 2009
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For about 660 years from the 7th century, over 60 Saio princesses served at Ise Grand Shrines. Each time there was a new emperor, a new Saio princess would be appointed to serve at Ise.Apr 01, 2009
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This is a map of the original route taken by the Saio princess from Kyoto to Saiku, near Ise Grand Shrines. The journey took 5 nights and 6 days, and passed through Shiga Prefecture at Seta, Kafuka (Koka), and Tarumi. The Saio princess stayed at a different palace each night, and three of them were in Shiga. The temporary palace for the Saio princess was called Tongu (頓宮). Only the Tarumi Tongu's former location is known today. Apr 01, 2009
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Tsuchiyama Saio Princess Procession あいの土山斎王群行Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio princess was an unmarried, young Imperial princess, often the Emperor's daughter, who was appointed (by divination) to be the High Priestess of Ise Grand Shrines in Mie Prefecture from the 7th to 14th centuries.Apr 01, 2009
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The festival started at 11:30 am with the Saio princess carried on a palanquin arriving at a small park called Yume no Ogawa next to Ono Elementary School. Apr 01, 2009
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Before embarking on the journey from Kyoto to Saiku in Mie Prefecture near Ise Grand Shrine where she was to serve as High Priestess, the Saio would undergo a three-year purification period in Kyoto.Apr 01, 2009
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They wear Heian Period costumes. Although Tsuchiyama's Saio festival is not as big as Kyoto's Aoi Matsuri or Meiwa's Saio Matsuri in Mie, it is still very colorful and enjoyable.Apr 01, 2009
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After the Misosugi purification ceremony, they formed a procession again and headed for the Ono Elementary School gymnasium.Apr 01, 2009
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Kyoto's Aoi Matsuri Festival held in May is also a reenactment of this Saio princess procession called Saio Gunko (斎王群行).Apr 01, 2009
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Taiko drummersApr 01, 2009
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Ono Elementary School Gymnasium and a few food stalls outside. A nice festival program was also on sale for 200 yen. 大野小学校Apr 01, 2009
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She and her entourage arrived to perform the Misogi-shiki purification ceremony. 禊ぎ式 MAPApr 01, 2009
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The Saio princess wears a juni-hitoe (12-layer) robe reserved only for Imperial family members. For this festival, the Saio princess is portrayed by 20-year-old Chiaki Koyama (神山千明) from Shigaraki, Koka. Apr 01, 2009
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The new Saio princess traveled from Kyoto to the Saiku palace near Ise Grand Shrines. It took 5 nights and 6 days. From 886 to 1264 (378 years), one stop along the way was Tarumi Tongu in Tsuchiyama.Apr 01, 2009
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The Saio Gunko Procession is held on the last Sunday in March in Tsuchiyama, Koka. Take the "Aikuru" bus from Kibukawa Station (JR Kusatsu Line and Ohmi Railways). After about 30 min., get off at Ono Higashi-guchi (大野東口) and walk to Ono Primary School.Apr 01, 2009
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