Oji's Inari Matsuri

  • Published on : 22/10/2020
  • by : Ph.L
  • Rating :
    3/5
Le festival des renards d'Oji

Le festival des renards d'Oji

PhL

On December 31, discover the fox parade

North of the capital, Oji is a small district full of charm. Between the famous Asukayama Park, the last tram in the city, and its small cafes, this residential area attracts more and more visitors every year, curious to unlock the secrets it holds. Especially on New Year's Eve, when the inhabitants indulge in Inari Matsuri, a great festival given in honor of the harvest divinity.

 

First, we find Oji Inari Jinja , a shrine dating back to the Heian period (794-1185) and dedicated to Inari , the deity of harvest and fertility.

Nestled in the heart of a residential area, Oji Inari Jinja is an ode to Nature . And although the main altar is easily accessible from the street, it will be necessary to show curiosity to discover the small altars and torii hidden a little lower, between the rocks and the terraced houses.

 

 

 

 

Le sanctuaire Oji Inari Jinja

Oji Inari Jinja Shrine

Ph.L

Oji Jinja

Oji Jinja

Ph.L

The legend of Oji's foxes

 

It is since the 11th century that the inhabitants of Oji have used to pay homage to the divinity of the harvests. At a time when, it is said, the fox spirits came to dance around the Oji Inarijinja every winter .

Every December 31 , it is now a procession of festival-goers that comes to replace these beneficent spirits. We disguise ourselves, we dance, and we play music to hope to attract the faithful companions of the divinity who, in the past, brought luck and happiness to the inhabitants. And that would seem to work, since spirits would still mingle with the crowd today, when no human was paying attention.

 

Inari et un de ses emblèmes: la faucille

Inari and one of its emblems: the sickle

By Kazutaka NAKANO on Flickr, CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode), https://www.flickr.com/photos/nknkztk/3374659964/

A high-spirited festival

 

A friendly moment, the Inari Matsuri is a real collective work . Craftsmen, schoolchildren, and even salarymen , a large part of the inhabitants then put their hands in the dough to pay homage to the protective goddess of the neighborhood . And from the month of November, dozens of people train every weekend to perfect the dances and music that will accompany the parade.

 

Le défilé des renards à Oji

Le défilé des renards à Oji

PhL

Also linked to fertility, the children will play a very special role in the procession . Make-up and dressed like byakko (white fox representing the divinity on iconographies), they will serve as divine messengers. Like a bridge between the real and the imaginary, during this unusual evening.

 

Once there, the procession comes to an end, where the lion dances take place on the main stage, welcoming onlookers who come to make their first prayer of the year.

 

 

 

Des enfants au Inari Matsuri

Des enfants au Inari Matsuri

PhL

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