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Noto's Kiriko Festival

March 13, 2015

Kiriko Festival is a general term, in which Kiriko accompanies Mikoshi or portable shrines, lighting streets, drifting and dancing boisterously, while protecting gods. Kiriko is an abbreviation of Kiriko Tourou or Kiriko lantern. In the area around Nakanoto, it is also known as Houtou or Oakashi.It is a very large festival lantern, which adds the festival in Noto area a special touch. The charactristic point of the Kiriko is that at night the Kiriko gather together at the shrine and once the departure ceremony is finished, the Kiriko and the portable shrines move together towards the Otabisho (God's place for a break) situated at the beach or riverbank. At the Otabisho the Hashira-taimatsu torches burning can be seen.

It is unknown whether the full-scale Kiriko Festival started in Noto or when it originally began to be used in summer or autumn festivals. Records concerning the shrine make hardly any mention of Kiriko. It may be the fact that the main carrier was committed to the townspeople, while the shrine parishioner only voluntarily carried Kiriko when they accompany the parade of portable shrine, therefore, few written records remained in the shrines…

Reviewed by: Hiroko Okamura

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Noto's Kiriko Festival







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