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Calendar of annual rituals


Shobu-sai (Iris Festival) 菖蒲祭 / Bugaku (Ancient Court Dance and Music Ritual) 舞楽


Iris Festival-
Shobu-sai(Iris).jpgThe 5th day of the 5th month (May 5) is called “Shobu-no-sekku” (Festival of the Iris) or “Tango-no-sekku” (Festival of Boys). It is one of the five seasonal festivals.
It is written in the text called Azuma kagami that Shobu-no-sekku was first performed at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in 1187 as a seasonal ritual. From ancient times, the iris is believed to ward off evil. The ritual is performed to purify body and spirit and to pray for longevity before the coming of summer.
The Iris ritual is performed at the Lower Worship Hall from 1:00PM, and then court dance and music known as Bugaku is performed and dedicated to Hachiman kami by the Gagaku organization known as Tokyo-Gakusho (東京楽所).

Ancient Court Dance and Music Ritual-
Bugaku(AncientCourtDanceand.jpgBugaku refers to dances performed with traditional court music (gagaku) accompaniment. Bu means dance, and gaku means music. Originally bugaku was not only for entertainment but was also as an offering to the kami.
Bugaku was first brought to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu from Kyoto by the first shogun, Minamoto Yoritomo, in 1189. Since then, bugaku has been dedicated to kami in a remarkable annual ritual.

※Kami (the Japanese word for Shinto deities or sacred beings)

Shirahata-jinja-reisai (Shirahata Shrine Festival) 白旗神社例祭
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