Monday, 23 July 2018

The Tenjin Festival

The Tenjin Festival of Osaka is positioned as one of Japan's main three celebrations, alongside the Gion Matsuri of Kyoto and the Kanda Matsuri of Tokyo. The celebration began in the tenth century and today happens on July 24 and 25 consistently. The principle festivities are hung on the celebration's second day, July 25, including a land parade and a waterway parade with firecrackers.
Land Procession on the second day
Tenjin Matsuri is the celebration of the Tenmangu Shrine and respects its rule divinity Sugawara Michizane, the god of grant. The celebration starts by ritualistically welcoming the divinity out of the hallowed place and marching him through the city, completing different overflowing merriments to engage him, before taking him back to the holy place. For the general population, the vivacious merriments show in a magnificent event to appreciate the sweltering summer day, loaded with customary ensembles, fabulous parades and a celebratory environment.
Michizane's carriage
On the morning of the primary day (July 24), the celebration commences with a custom at Tenmangu Shrine, trailed by petitions at the waterway for peace and the wellbeing and thriving of Osaka. Toward the evening, drums are sounded by men in tall red caps to illuminate everybody that arrangements for the celebration are finished.

The features of the celebration begin at 15:30 of the second day (July 25), when the red-hatted drummers lead the land parade from Tenmangu Shrine through the boulevards of Osaka. The long parade highlights costumed characters, including Sarutahiko, a since a long time ago nosed troll riding a pony, a stately buoy joined by celebration music, lion artists, umbrella artists and different attractions.

Around a hour into the parade, the guard conveying the mikoshi, the resplendent, overlaid convenient sanctum that briefly holds the soul of Tenmangu Shrine's divinity, Sugawara Michizane, leaves the holy place, went before by a kid and a young lady driving a consecrated bull, Michizane's emissary. Two more versatile altars participate in the motorcade later, yet pay special mind to the one with a plated phoenix at its best: this is the one that conveys the exalted soul of Michizane.

After the parade lands at Okawa River around 18:00, its individuals and convenient places of worship are stacked onto water crafts to be marched all over the stream. Other than the parade pontoons, there are some "stage water crafts" on which customary noh and bunraku exhibitions are put on for landside spectators. Shooting between these water crafts, you can likewise detect some Dondoko pontoons that are deftly impelled all over the stream by youthful rowers. Apparently unlimited lines of celebration nourishment slows down along the stream add to the euphoric state of mind.

The waterway parade proceeds as festivities go ahead into the night and comes full circle at around 19:00 when firecrackers begin to go off,continuing until around 21:00. In spite of the fact that not a standout amongst the most remarkable firecracker shows in Japan, the firecrackers of the Tenjin Matsuri, joined with the enlightened pontoons and their appearance off the stream, make for a genuinely one of a kind scene. The mikoshi escort lands at around 21:00 and advances back to the place of worship at 22:00, denoting the finish of the year's celebration.
                                   
                                                                          Dondoko Boat
Expect throngs of people attending the Tenjin Matsuri, especially in the evenings when the river procession and fireworks are held. The competition for good viewing spots along the river is fierce as the demand for picnic space greatly outweighs supply. An alternative would be to purchase a paid seat located near Temmanbashi Station (from 6000 yen, advance booking required) which offers good views of the procession, but only moderately good views of the fireworks.
Tenjin Festival at night
Bridges along Okawa River are closed to road traffic during the river procession and provide good vantage points, but visitors are supposed to keep moving to ensure the smooth flow of human traffic. Kawasaki Bridge gets closed even to pedestrians, partly because common people are not supposed to look down onto the shrine's deity.
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