Most viewed - Tsuchiyama Saio Princess Procession あいの土山斎王群行
so022-20090329_4056.jpg
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. 348 views
so093-20090329_4279.jpg
Saio princess in juni-hitoe kimono.321 views
so096-20090329_4294.jpg
321 views
so010-20090329_3975.jpg
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). 275 viewsAfter about 30 min., get off at Ono Higashi-guchi (大野東口) and walk to Ono Primary School.
so013-20090329_4018.jpg
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. 273 views
so083-20090329_4247.jpg
226 views
so079-20090329_4238.jpg
Saio princess of the Ai-no-Tsuchiyama Saio Gunko Matsuri festival in March.183 views
so078-20090329_4250.jpg
Saio princess going to Tarumi Tongu in Tsuchiyama, Shiga.173 views
so178-20090329_4609.jpg
The Saio drinks the tea.167 views
so185-20090329_4642.jpg
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.156 views
so024-20090329_4063.jpg
Tsuchiyama Saio Princess Procession あいの土山斎王群行146 views
so019-20090329_4047.jpg
At Yume no Ogawa park, the Saio princess performed the Misogi-shiki purification ceremony in Tsuchiyama, Shiga. 禊ぎ式143 views
so184-20090329_4635.jpg
Also see my photos of the Aoi Matsuri here.140 views
so140-20090329_4497.jpg
134 views
so183-20090329_4632.jpg
Tea fields next to Tarumi Tongu. When the Saio princess was called back to Kyoto, she took a different route back to Kyoto.131 views
so077-20090329_4249.jpg
The Saio is actually on a wheeled cart.111 views
so053-20090329_4148.jpg
Placard holders called Waranbe (童部).89 views
so062-20090329_4168.jpg
A dance by the Warawame child attendants. 82 views
so015-20090329_4034.jpg
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.81 views
so110-20090329_4379.jpg
79 views
so014-20090329_4031.jpg
She and her entourage arrived to perform the Misogi-shiki purification ceremony. 禊ぎ式 MAP76 views
so016-20090329_4037.jpg
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.73 views
so181-20090329_4624.jpg
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。68 views
so017-20090329_4040.jpg
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.66 views
so012-20090329_4020.jpg
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.65 views
so046-20090329_4128.jpg
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.65 views
so182-20090329_4639.jpg
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.65 views
so011-20090329_3979.jpg
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. 63 viewsThe 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.
so179-20090329_4616.jpg
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.62 views
so026-20090329_4089.jpg
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.61 views
so025-20090329_4086.jpg
60 views
so058-20090329_4156.jpg
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.60 views
so059-20090329_4158.jpg
Those people in the Heian Period sure knew how to make distinguished people look distinguished.60 views
so036-20090329_4111.jpg
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.60 views
so021-20090329_4052.jpg
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.59 views
so038-20090329_4113.jpg
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.59 views
so042-20090329_4122.jpg
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59 views
so023-20090329_4062.jpg
After the Misosugi purification ceremony, they formed a procession again and headed for the Ono Elementary School gymnasium.58 views
so018-20090329_4042.jpg
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58 views
so180-20090329_4619.jpg
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.56 views
so029-20090329_4105.jpg
Taiko drummers55 views
so028-20090329_4094.jpg
The Saio procession heads for the gymnasium for another ceremony.55 views
so030-20090329_4187.jpg
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54 views
so040-20090329_4115.jpg
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.54 views
so144-20090329_4498.jpg
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.54 views
so020-20090329_4051.jpg
Kyoto's Aoi Matsuri Festival held in May is also a reenactment of this Saio princess procession called Saio Gunko (斎王群行).53 views
so027-20090329_4091.jpg
The Saio procession was one of the largest of its kind at the time, with up to 500 people.53 views
so118-20090329_4421.jpg
53 views
so044-20090329_4125.jpg
Myobu and Nyoju court ladies and the Hakucho guide in white.52 views
so037-20090329_4112.jpg
Another Myobu, followed by a man in white who is the Hakucho (白丁), a guide and guard of the court ladies. 52 views
so122-20090329_4440.jpg
Again they danced the Dochu-mai. Same one as at the last stop.52 views
so047-20090329_4130.jpg
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. 51 views
so139-20090329_4496.jpg
Saio princess in Tsuchiyama, Koka.51 views
so143-20090329_4629.jpg
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 51 views
so172-20090329_4599.jpg
The Uneme takes the bowl of tea to the Saio.51 views
so034-20090329_4109.jpg
The first (and last) character in the procession is the Kacho, an archer and the head of security. 火長50 views
so120-20090329_4419.jpg
50 views
so156-20090329_4539.jpg
50 views
so141-20090329_4631.jpg
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.50 views
so165-20090329_4571.jpg
The Saio sits and waits for her bowl of green tea.50 views
so174-20090329_4602.jpg
50 views
so171-20090329_4592.jpg
The tea is given to the Uneme (釆女) attendant in charge of food.50 views
so161-20090329_4554.jpg
50 views
so041-20090329_4117.jpg
49 views
so043-20090329_4124.jpg
Following the Saio are more Myobu and Nyoju court ladies and the Hakucho guide in white.49 views
so054-20090329_4143.jpg
Festival committee chairman gives a speech.49 views
so032-20090329_4107.jpg
Inside the gym for the Departure ceremony. The Saio princess arrives through the back door.49 views
so149-20090329_4512.jpg
49 views
so146-20090329_4503.jpg
The Saio princess arrives at Tarumi Tongu.49 views
so129-20090329_4464.jpg
49 views
so168-20090329_4582.jpg
The tea is brought to the tea master.49 views
so031-20090329_3978.jpg
Entrance to the gym.48 views
so130-20090329_4471.jpg
Tsuchiyama is famous for tea. We saw a number of tea fields along the procession route.48 views
so138-20090329_4493.jpg
48 views
so175-20090329_4603.jpg
The Saio receives the tea.48 views
so177-20090329_4606.jpg
48 views
so049-20090329_4133.jpg
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) handym47 views
so035-20090329_4110.jpg
Kacho archer. (They didn't have guns yet.)47 views
so039-20090329_4114.jpg
These four men are Kyoto government officials called Kyoshiki Kannin (京職官人).47 views
so050-20090329_4137.jpg
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.)47 views
so126-20090329_4451.jpg
47 views
so166-20090329_4578.jpg
47 views
so056-20090329_4152.jpg
The gagaku musicians were from the Shiga Gagaku-kai troupe. 46 views
so105-20090329_4354.jpg
The Saio princess in her palanquin. Notice that the palanquin's screens on all four sides are rolled up.46 views
so142-20090329_4638.jpg
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.46 views
so119-20090329_4420.jpg
46 views
so048-20090329_4132.jpg
45 views
so045-20090329_4127.jpg
45 views
so061-20090329_4154.jpg
45 views
so123-20090329_4432.jpg
45 views
so150-20090329_4513.jpg
In the background is a stone monument marking the area as the site of the Tarumi Tongu palace.45 views
so158-20090329_4543.jpg
The first Saio watches a dance performance.45 views
so160-20090329_4542.jpg
45 views
so147-20090329_4504.jpg
45 views
so176-20090329_4605.jpg
45 views
so167-20090329_4623.jpg
45 views
so163-20090329_4565.jpg
45 views
so064-20090329_4177.jpg
Posing for a photo.44 views
so033-20090329_4108.jpg
They first introduced all the people in the Saio Princess Procession.44 views
so060-20090329_4144.jpg
44 views
so065-20090329_4184.jpg
44 views
so051-20090329_4138.jpg
The last person in the procession is the Kacho guard.44 views
so073-20090329_4214.jpg
44 views
so103-20090329_4337.jpg
Afterward, the Saio goes back into her palanquin.44 views
so090-20090329_4270.jpg
The Saio princess makes her way to her place. I wondered why the others didn't bow to her as she passed by.44 views
so137-20090329_4492.jpg
44 views
so170-20090329_4588.jpg
Then gives it to the attendant.44 views
so173-20090329_4601.jpg
44 views
so169-20090329_4587.jpg
The tea master makes the tea.44 views
so066-20090329_4190.jpg
The Tsuchiyama Saio Princess Procession left the gymnasium at around 1:30 pm.43 views
so080-20090329_4234.jpg
43 views
so070-20090329_4206.jpg
43 views
so091-20090329_4281.jpg
43 views
so148-20090329_4507.jpg
The Saio gets out of her palanquin.43 views
so127-20090329_4457.jpg
Saio goes back to her palanquin.43 views
so125-20090329_4448.jpg
43 views
so164-20090329_4567.jpg
43 views
so162-20090329_4563.jpg
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43 views
so057-20090329_4142.jpg
42 views
so075-20090329_4224.jpg
42 views
so092-20090329_4286.jpg
Saio princess and child attendants.42 views
so104-20090329_4343.jpg
They actually carried her to the wheeled cart.42 views
so101-20090329_4329.jpg
42 views
so151-20090329_4525.jpg
There were surprisingly few spectators.42 views
so159-20090329_4552.jpg
42 views
so157-20090329_4541.jpg
42 views
so133-20090329_4476.jpg
Saio passing by tea field.42 views
so131-20090329_4472.jpg
42 views
so052-20090329_4141.jpg
41 views
so055-20090329_4155.jpg
Mayor of Koka gives a speech. (Tsuchiyama is in the city of Koka.)41 views
so063-20090329_4178.jpg
Group picture. About 80 people participated in the procession.41 views
so095-20090329_4305.jpg
41 views
so098-20090329_4315.jpg
They danced to recorded music.41 views
so094-20090329_4289.jpg
A nice performance area for a dance performance.41 views
so134-20090329_4479.jpg
Route to the Tarumi Tongu palace site.41 views
so069-20090329_4203.jpg
41 views
so068-20090329_4198.jpg
Bearer of a sign saying, "Saio."40 views
so082-20090329_4245.jpg
40 views
so106-20090329_4372.jpg
Saio procession through the town. I was surprised to see so few spectators even though this was really a gorgeous procession.40 views
so099-20090329_4318.jpg
40 views
so100-20090329_4321.jpg
40 views
so102-20090329_4331.jpg
40 views
so088-20090329_4264.jpg
The procession arrived at about 2 pm.40 views
so145-20090329_4501.jpg
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.40 views
so128-20090329_4459.jpg
They carry her to the wheeled cart. Modern men are too weak to carry such a heavy palanquin.40 views
so152-20090329_4529.jpg
40 views
so067-20090329_4195.jpg
39 views
so108-20090329_4363.jpg
Marker for the site of the former Tarumi Tongu palace.39 views
so112-20090329_4382.jpg
39 views
so114-20090329_4416p.jpg
They gathered at Maeno Community West Hiroba Square (前野集会所西広場) at about 2:40 pm.39 viewsPanorama shot.
so154-20090329_4536.jpg
39 views
so135-20090329_4489.jpg
The Saio Gunko procession proceeds through tea fields on the way to Tarumi Tongu.39 views
so113-20090329_4389.jpg
38 views
so081-20090329_4235.jpg
38 views
so109-20090329_4377.jpg
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).38 views
so121-20090329_4418.jpg
Placard bearers38 views
so153-20090329_4533.jpg
Saio makes her way to her place.38 views
so132-20090329_4468.jpg
Saio and tea plants.38 views
so087-20090329_4263.jpg
Ichiba Kumin Hiroba square.(市場区民広場)37 views
so116-20090329_4396.jpg
The Saio princess was poised as always, despite the winds and sun and the heavy costume.37 views
so085-20090329_4259.jpg
Back of the archer.37 views
so136-20090329_4490.jpg
37 views
so072-20090329_4211.jpg
36 views
so111-20090329_4380.jpg
Saio arrives at Maeno.36 views
so076-20090329_4226.jpg
36 views
so084-20090329_4258.jpg
36 views
so117-20090329_4403.jpg
36 views
so107-20090329_4362.jpg
Marker for the site of the former Tarumi Tongu palace.36 views
so097-20090329_4311.jpg
The Dochumai was performed. 道中舞36 views
so124-20090329_4444.jpg
36 views
so155-20090329_4537.jpg
36 views
so115-20090329_4412.jpg
The backdrop was quite dramatic with the temple gate.35 views
so071-20090329_4208.jpg
35 views
so074-20090329_4221.jpg
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.35 views
so086-20090329_4262.jpg
The first break was at the Ichiba Kumin Hiroba square.(市場区民広場)35 views
so089-20090329_4265.jpg
34 views
176 files on 1 page(s)