Home > MIE 三重県 > Toin 東員町

Most viewed - Toin 東員町
tu010-20090405_5454.jpg
Inabe Shrine, where the Oyashiro Matsuri or Ageuma festival is held on the first Sat. and Sun. of April (if it falls on the 1st and 2nd, the festival is held on the 8th and 9th) in Toin, Mie Prefecture. A 15-min. walk from Toin Station on the Sangi Line.247 views
tu091-20090405_6002.jpg
Map of Toin town, Mie. Many thanks to my friends Tomoyo and Shunji in Toin-cho for taking me to see this festival.133 views
tu090-20090405_6006.jpg
The narrow gauge makes the trains narrower too.124 views
tu089-20090405_6007.jpg
The line's train tracks has an extra narrow gauge.122 views
tu011-20090405_5452.jpg
The festival's main event is the Ageuma (Leaping or Rising Horse) ceremony held 12 times on Sat. and six times on Sun. One of the horses to be used. The Ageuma is unique to Mie and started here at Inabe Shrine.93 views
tu012-20090405_5458.jpg
The end of the slope where the horse is to leap over the steep earthen wall. Cherry trees accent the steep incline. The horse gallops and full speed for about 500 meters before encountering this steep incline.89 views
tu033-20090405_5600p.jpg
After a few hind-leg kicks, the horse manages to go over. When the horse goes over, it is an omen that this year's harvest will be abundant. Imagine the enormous pressure on the rider to go over the top.89 views
tu085-20090405_5992.jpg
The moment after this shot was taken, this baton hit my camera lens and bounced off. A kid nearby quickly picked up the dropped baton. That's okay, I let him have it. My gift to the local people.89 views
tu016-20090405_5732.jpg
This earthen wall looks like 2 or 3 meters high. This festival is unique to Mie Prefecture. A similar and much more crowded Ageuma ceremony is held at Tado Shrine also in Mie and not far from Inabe Shrine.88 views
tu087-20090405_6003.jpg
Oyashiro Festival poster.87 views
tu086-20090405_5998.jpg
My camera was fine. Nothing broken, but the edge of my lens filter had a slight dent...86 views
tu014-20090405_5501.jpg
This is what the steep incline looks like from the other side. The galloping horse must manage to leap up and over the steep wall called the Agezaka (上げ坂).84 views
tu021-20090405_5510.jpg
There are six jockeys, all local teenage boys, chosen by lottery. They have to be quite brave to undertake the Ageuma ceremony since accidents and injuries do happen. Some parents refuse to allow their sons to be chosen.84 views
tu028-20090405_5551p.jpg
The horse gets stuck as its hind legs cannot push off from any surface. It kept kicking its hind legs as it desperately tried to get over the embankment and it finally did. This was the first run of the day on Sunday.84 views
tu088-20090405_6004.jpg
Toin Station on the Sangi Railway Hokusei Line.84 views
tu015-20090405_5502.jpg
The Ageuma or Leaping Horse ceremony is only one of the religious ceremonies held during the Oyashiro Festival. The god of wooden architecture is one of the gods Inabe Shrine worships. Carpenters from this area built Horyuji and Todaiji in Nara.83 views
tu034-20090405_5626.jpg
Next horse up. In the past, they spiked the horse with stimulants to make it more excited, but they discontinued that practice.83 views
tu074-20090405_5919.jpg
One end of the riding course.83 views
tu013-20090405_5460.jpg
On both sides are special spectator seating (decorated in red/white) for the shrine priests and VIPs. These photos were taken on April 5, 2009.82 views
tu045-20090405_5687.jpg
The rider looks relieved, and proud to have a lifetime memory.82 views
tu046-20090405_5702.jpg
The victorious rider holds out a fan and sings a victory song. People celebrate the imminent abundant harvest.82 views
tu023-20090405_5519.jpg
Before the festival, the six riders undergo a period of purification in the morning and evening in the river. On the day of the festival, they bathe in the river. This one is getting on the horse.81 views
tu022-20090405_5507.jpg
The jockeys wera a colorful costume, the hanagasa hat has a different decoration (pine tree, peony, iris, etc.) for each jockey. Each jockey represents a local district in Toin town.80 views
tu039-20090405_5652.jpg
79 views
tu037-20090405_5647.jpg
The running course is quite short, maybe 100-150 meters. It cannot be too long or else the horse will get too tired to make the final leap.79 views
tu017-20090405_5736.jpg
The wall has a notch in the middle for the horse to leap up and over. Inabe Shrine's Ageuma ceremony is older than Tado Shrine's. The festival was started in 1192 by the local castle lord and shrine priest to strengthen the spirit of the youth.78 views
tu025-20090405_5514.jpg
Men await for the horse on the incline. They help to get the horse over the top and prevent injury to the rider.78 views
tu030-20090405_5561.jpg
The next rider is prepared. He sits in a sacred compartment, gets his hanagasa hat adjusted, and waits for his horse to arrive. He was stern-faced. There's a 15-20 min. break between each Ageuma run.78 views
tu019-20090405_5466.jpg
Stairs to the bleachers which are actually compartments of sitting areas. The bleachers line both sides of the course leading to the steep incline. 77 views
tu029-20090405_5556.jpg
The horse makes it over the top. On Sat., the first day of the festival, there are 12 Ageuma runs. On Sunday, the second day, there are six Ageuma runs starting at 1 pm. In the morning, they have a few practice runs, but do not try to go over the top.77 views
tu040-20090405_5654.jpg
77 views
tu044-20090405_5686.jpg
And there he is.77 views
tu018-20090405_5465.jpg
In 1203, the steep embankment was built and the Ageuma and yabusame ceremonies were held. Along the short galloping course up to the steep incline, makeshift bleachers for spectators are built for the festival.76 views
tu024-20090405_5532.jpg
And he's off, going at full speed. It takes only 10-15 sec. for him to run up to the incline.76 views
tu031-20090405_5578.jpg
This is near the start of the course where the rider gets on the horse.76 views
tu038-20090405_5650.jpg
This horse was the most successful of the day. It made a clean leap in one try.76 views
tu042-20090405_5658.jpg
Victory! Also see my YouTube video here.76 views
tu043-20090405_5684.jpg
This is what the top of the incline looks like. A bunch of people wait for the horse to come up.76 views
tu047-20090405_5750.jpg
Riders make a "victory lap" within the shrine grounds.76 views
tu070-20090405_5895.jpg
This is one end of the riding course. 76 views
tu026-20090405_5545.jpg
The horse approaches the steep wall.75 views
tu032-20090405_5596.jpg
And there he goes up on the incline.75 views
tu069-20090405_5897.jpg
Horse riding ground (baba). It looks like 500 meters or so.75 views
tu081-20090405_5974.jpg
He tosses the baton.75 views
tu020-20090405_5496p.jpg
The bleacher seats are sold by auction to the highest bidder. Those next to the steep incline are the most expensive, costing 200,000 yen or higher for one compartment fitting several people. I was in a compartment costing 7,000 yen.74 views
tu036-20090405_5644.jpg
There he goes.74 views
tu063-20090405_5818.jpg
74 views
tu079-20090405_5960.jpg
One rider waves around his baton before tossing it. This lucky little girl got one.74 views
tu027-20090405_5547.jpg
73 views
tu048-20090405_5756.jpg
This is definitely one of the more unique and exciting festivals I have seen in Japan. I have to give much credit to these young and brave lads.73 views
tu049-20090405_5681.jpg
Rider and his hat.73 views
tu057-20090405_5773.jpg
Shrine priest73 views
tu059-20090405_5782.jpg
73 views
tu067-20090405_5855.jpg
73 views
tu073-20090405_5883.jpg
The other end of the riding course. 73 views
tu076-20090405_5937.jpg
This event is called yabusame. Although they wear arrows on their backs, they do not shoot any arrows while riding. They just gallop straight along the course.73 views
tu080-20090405_5969.jpg
He waves it around before tossing it.73 views
tu035-20090405_5634.jpg
Rider with hat bearing an iris flower prepares to mount.72 views
tu041-20090405_5655.jpg
The horse makes a nice leap up.72 views
tu051-20090405_5760.jpg
72 views
tu061-20090405_5792.jpg
One of the riders.72 views
tu058-20090405_5774.jpg
72 views
tu066-20090405_5845.jpg
72 views
tu071-20090405_5885.jpg
The jockeys galloped through the course several times.72 views
tu072-20090405_5906.jpg
72 views
tu078-20090405_5952.jpg
They kept riding back and forth until twilight. Toward the end, they tossed these batons to people.72 views
tu052-20090405_5761.jpg
Inabe Shrine's statue of a sacred horse near the horse riding ground.71 views
tu053-20090405_5765.jpg
The procession crosses the river and heads for the horse riding ground. 神霊渡御71 views
tu050-20090405_5758.jpg
On SUnday, the second half of the festival is a procession from Inabe Shrine to a horse riding ground nearby at 3 pm. The yabusame horseback riding is then held at 3:30 pm.71 views
tu055-20090405_5770.jpg
71 views
tu068-20090405_5871.jpg
71 views
tu077-20090405_5944.jpg
It must be fun to ride that fast.71 views
tu082-20090405_5978.jpg
And so all these people are waving their arms shouting, "Toss it to me!" Also see my YouTube video here.71 views
tu083-20090405_5987.jpg
This rider I will never forget.71 views
tu060-20090405_5784.jpg
70 views
tu056-20090405_5772.jpg
70 views
tu064-20090405_5829.jpg
70 views
tu075-20090405_5935.jpg
70 views
tu054-20090405_5767.jpg
69 views
tu062-20090405_5810.jpg
The group of men sing for the rider.69 views
tu065-20090405_5837.jpg
One of the jockeys shoots an arrow toward the river.69 views
tu084-20090405_5991.jpg
Here he comes, ready to toss his baton. Now I was watching this through my camera lens and shooting continuously at 6 frames per sec.67 views
   
82 files on 1 page(s)