Asakusa Sanja Festival 浅草三社祭

お神輿を持ち上げてみます~ でも、重すぎて全然無理でした!>.<

In front of a Mikoshi (portable Shinto shrine) for the Asakusa Sanja Festival! It weighs almost 1 ton, and requires incredible teamwork for a group to carry it around the neighborhood!

Iwami-san, one of the fund managers at Whiz Partners, invited me to join him and his wife at Asakusa’s Sanja Festival (三社祭, Sanja Matsuri) held during the end of May. One of Iwami-san’s former colleagues, Yamaguchi-san, is a local from the area and has been involved in organizing one of the main attractions of the festival for more than 20 years!

皆様、三社祭に行ったことがありますか?石見さんは浅草の三社祭に招待されました。 石見さんの元同僚の山口さんは、浅草の地元の人ですので、20年以上にわたって、この祭りを長く組織しています。

山口さんと山口さんのお母様と一緒に実家の家で写真を撮りました~

Group photo with Yamaguchi-san and his mother at their home in Asakusa.

 

三社祭の参加者と一緒に写真を撮りました~皆様、お疲れ様でした!!男性の方は伝統的な服(半被や足袋や褌まで)を穿いてちょっとびっくりしました~ (笑)粋ですね!

Group photo with festival participants. I was surprised to see all the men in traditional Japanese clothes such as fundoshi (褌、traditional Japanese underwear), happi (法被, 半被) coats and white tabi (足袋) socks!

About the Sanja Festival

The Sanja Festival (三社祭, Sanja Matsuri) is an annual festival in the Asakusa district that usually takes place over the third full weekend in May. It is held in celebration of the three founders of Sensoji Temple, who are enshrined in Asakusa Shrine next door to the temple. Nearly two million people visit Asakusa over the three days of the festival, making it one of Tokyo's most popular festivals.

The Sanja Matsuri features about one hundred portable shrines (mikoshi 神輿) in which Shinto deities (kami) are symbolically placed into and paraded about the streets to bring good fortune to the local businesses and residents. Smaller neighborhood mikoshi can be seen about the streets of Asakusa throughout the festival, while the focus of the festival, the three large mikoshi belonging to Asakusa Shrine, make their appearance on Sunday. For the entirety of the festival, Asakusa is packed with food stalls, festival games and revelers amid a lively atmosphere of Japanese drums and flutes.

 

三社祭は、毎年5月に行われる東京都台東区浅草の浅草神社の例大祭らしいです。

浅草神社の氏子四十四の町を中心に五月の第三金・土・日曜日に行われ、江戸風情を残しつつ勇壮且つ華やかな神輿を担ぐことを主として、三日間に亘り約百八十万人の人出を数える日本を代表する祭礼の一つです。
浅草神社のウェブサイトにより

Together with a Singaporean friend Ciel, Iwami-san, and his wife, we attended the festival on Saturday, when supposedly almost 100 mikoshi from the district's 44 neighborhoods are brought out in the afternoon and carried to Sensoji Temple and Asakusa Shrine to be blessed before they are carried back to be paraded around their neighborhoods to spread luck and prosperity. There were also many smaller children's mikoshi as well as women's mikoshi. ^^

私は、シンガポール人の友達を連れて行きました。そして、石見さんと石見さんの奥様(ひろみさん)と一緒に、祭りの二日目に行ってきました。土曜日には、「例大祭式典」が斎行されて、その後に「町内神輿連合渡御」が行われました。私たちは、午後の町内神輿連合渡御(ちょうないみこしれんごうとぎょ)を見に行きました!浅草氏子44の町の約100基の町内神輿が神社境内に参集し、一基ずつ浅草神社へ発進して、お祓いを受けた上で、各町会へ担いで行きました。

お祭りの現場はすごい人でした!とても賑やかでした!神輿は長距離を担ぐためには、動きのリズムが非常に重要らしいですよ。Teamworkがくるうとうまく神輿が担げません。TeamSpiritが重要ですね。難しそうです!!でも、皆様すごかったです。シンガポール人の友達Cielさん(www.cielimpression.com(シンガポール大使館での春昼食出会ったのドキュメンタリー作家)は動画を編集しましたので、ぜひご覧ください~ 

So many people at the festival! To carry the mikoshi such a long distance, the rhythm of movement is very important. Watch a video by my friend Ciel (Singaporean filmmaker and producer, whom I also mentioned in a previous post on “Spring Luncheon at Singapore Embassy in Tokyo”) here: 

 

お神輿の前で集合写真を撮りました~ 皆さん、良い顔してますね〜(^-^)/ 普通のお神輿の重さは1トンまでですよ!小型車とほぼ同じで、結構重いですよ!人々がチームワークでそのような重いお神輿を担ぐことができることは非常に驚くべきことです。

Group photo in front of the neighborhood mikoshi! Did you know that each mikoshi can weight up to 1 ton?? That’s almost the same as a small car! The fact that people can carry such a heavy object with teamwork is quite an amazing feat.

 


Cute Sanja Festival themed lanterns were hanging in front of the doors of houses and stores during the festivities~

 

祭りの期間に家やお店のドアの前に飾られていた三社祭の灯篭は可愛い〜^^

 

ちなみに、先週末は品川で「北の天王祭」へ行ってきました。去年の品川宿場祭りの花魁道中に出演しましたので、とても懐かしい場所です!去年の花魁道中の準備のためによく行って、出演したきり行っていなかった場所です。驚いたことは、北品川商店街で2018年9月の品川宿場祭りの花魁道中の募集ポスターがたくさん貼ってありました!全部、私の花魁姿の写真の特集ですよ~

Incidentally, I went to Shinagawa last weekend to check out the “Kita no Tennousai” Festival. The shopping street along Kita-Shinagawa was full of roadside stalls selling food and drinks~ To my surprise, posters advertising for the 2018 Shinagawa Shukuba Festival featuring my photo from the 2017 Oiran Dochu parade were put up along the entire street! This was the same street that I paraded down with 4 other Japanese ladies as the first ever foreigner chosen to be an “Oiran” (Edo period celebrity courtesan figures, predecessor of the Geisha), and had the honor of leading the procession last year. Those who have not read it yet, do check out my interview with Maction Planet on my experience!

https://www.mactionplanet.com/blog/mac-on-tokyo-rachel-leng-oiran-transformation

 

Poster advertising for the 2018 Shinagawa Shukuba Festival featuring my photo from last year's Oiran Dochu parade!

 

去年の私の写真を取り入れた2018年(平成30年)品川宿場まつりとおいらん道中のポスターです!

 

*****

花魁道中の出演について、前のブログを ご参考にしてください。

まだ読んでいない方は、去年の花魁道中の経験やニュースについて、リンクをクリックしてご覧ください~

 

 

Also, take a look at previous blog posts on my Oiran Dochu performance:

Shinagawa Cable TV documentary clip: