國學院大學
國學院大學デジタルミュージアム

Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1 5. Rites and Festivals
カテゴリー2 Individual Shrine Observances
Title
Text "'Pistol' festival." A rite conducted during the Gion Festival (Gion matsuri) held July 13–15 at Yoshida Shrine in Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture. The event is also known as the Yoshida Tennō Festival and has been well known along Japan's famed Tōkaidō ("eastern sea route") since ancient times. The splendor of its festivities was depicted in Tōkaidō meisho zue ("Famous views along the Tōkaidō"), an illustrated travel guide published in 1797. Today, the festival is known especially for the handmade, handheld mortars (tezutsu enka, lit. "pistol fireworks") heroically shot off during the proceedings. On the evening of July 13, after a cermony at the shrine, boys take turns holding up and lighting off the fireworks mortars. The fireworks form a flaming pillar close to ten meters long that spews forth for over ten seconds. Sparks shower down all over the boys' bodies, and those who can endure it are recognized as full-fledged young men. This rite is the tezutsu shinji. A pair of events are presented as votive offerings—a riverside fireworks display held on July 14 and a portable shrine (shin'yo) procession (togyo; see shinkōsai) on July 15 accompanied by various performances such as the "bamboo grass dance" (sasa odori).
— Mogi Sakae
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Tezutsu shinji