Weekly Column Kanda This and That 318
Thank you for coming back.
I am really relieved because Kanda-matsuri Festival is over now for this year. There are still some of the sacred rituals to be held at Kanda Myojin, but the events in which the community members, including me, are involved with finished on May 12! It is such a relief that the mikoshi parade for my community was pretty successful. It is also a great relief for me that providing meals for mikoshi carriers, which is an important task for the women’s division, was carried out without any problem. It is a wonderful feeling of achievement! It was my 6th participation in the festival, but there was still a new experience this year. It was “mitamaire,” a sacred ritual in which gods’ spirits are put into each of the 200 mikoshi for 108 parishioner communities. It was conducted by shinshoku (persons responsible for performing rituals and clerical works for a shrine) of Kanda Myojin visiting each community on May 10. Along with other communities, my Kaji-cho 2-chome community had a very solemn time when 60 participants were listening with their heads down to the ritual incantations by the shinshoku in the corner of the old Imagawa Junior High School. You may have an impression that Kanda-matsuri Festival is boisterous and wild, but the festival has a completely different aspect as well. During the mitamaire ritual, a god comes down and rides on an empty mikoshi and the mikoshi goes around the community to purify the area, heading for the shrine, which is referred to as “miyairi.” On the road, the mikoshi parade proceeded powerfully enough to sway the gods’ souls, so I believe that many of our wishes will come true.
*The information herein is as of May 2019.