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 Sweet sake festival. The festival held on February 10 and 11 at the Umemiya Shrine in Sayama City, Saitama  Prefecture, centers on inviting locals to the shrine and treating them to sake. It is called the amasake matsuri and serves as a way of divining the abundance of the new year's harvest based on the quality of the sake production.
     On the fourth Sunday in August, an amasake matsuri is held at the Inohana Kumano Shrine in Arakawa  Village, Chichibu-gun in the same prefecture, where shrine parishioners (ujiko) prepare amasake (sweet sake) out of barley. Naked young men splash one another with sweet sake within the shrine precincts. This is believed to drive away illness caused by evil spirits.
     Also, at the Sannō Shrine in Sano, Hanazono-chō, Uto City, Kumamoto prefecture, young men wearing red kimonos and yellow hand towels around their heads gather on the first day of the monkey in the eleventh lunar month and tussle over the amasake.
     At Ōhara Jinja in Miwa-chō, Amada-gun, Kyoto prefecture, sweet sake is offered to the kami at the spring and autumn festivals. The festivals are called amasake matsuri because the worshippers are treated toithe amasake offerings.
     An amasake matsuri takes place as part of the rites held on January 11 at Hakusan Jinja in Aioi, Gujō-gun, Hachiman-chō, Gifu prefecture. As parishioners hear their names called out, they drink one tea bowl each of the amasake drawn from a large cauldron that has been set up within the precincts. After each person has had their turn, they all gather around the cauldron and drink the remaining amasake.
     At the amasake festival of the Shimomaino Shrine in Maino-chō, Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture, bamboo cylinders are filled with amasake prepared overnight and offered to the kami along with white uncooked rice wrapped in the leaves of the omoto plant (a variety of lily). The amasake referred to here is not the ordinary sweet sake, but a kind of sake fermented overnight (ichiyazake) for the festival.
— Mogi Sakae
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Amasake matsuri