國學院大學
國學院大學デジタルミュージアム

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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 Sacred Archery Festival or Foot Archery Festival (depending on the Chinese characters used to write the name). An archery rite held on March 17 at the Hotaka Shrine (Hotaka jinja) in Hotaka Town, Azumi County, Nagano Prefecture. Ritual objects featured in the festival include three bows strung with hemp and fourteen arrows, of which two have written prayers attached and are called the Arrow of the Kami and the Arrow of the Lord. The target is made of wood bound into a circle and covered with paper, with three circles drawn on it. After the ceremonies, the Arrow of the Kami is shot towards the northeast and the Arrow of the Lord towards the southeast. Twelve arrows are then shot at the target. The prospects for a good or bad agricultural season are divined from the success or failure to hit the target.
     There is a Foot Archery Festival (busha sai) held on January 15 at the Shika-no-Umi Shrine (Shikanoumi jinja) at Shika Island in Higashi Ward, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Eight men forming the Assembly of Archers (iteshi) dress in medieval attire (shōzoku) and take turns performing a fan dance (ōgi no mai) at the Worship Hall (haiden). The dances are said to be derived from the comical seinō (thin man) style in kagura. Then, the eight archers offer hand towels with both hands, chanting as they stand together. This part of the rite is called ōgibome. Next, they circle the shrine precincts (keidai) three times, with the leader of the group carrying the target. Each of the eight archers shoots two arrows three times each at the target. After the last arrow has been shot, the target is torn apart and the onlookers scramble over the fragments which are considered evil-repelling talismans. Rites known as yabarai (purification by arrow) are performed in many homes.
     A ritual archery event called Hōsha shiki takes place on January 10 and 12 at the Matsu-no-o Great Shrine (Matsu-no-o taisha) in Ukyō Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. Nusa (ritual paper streamers) and archery targets are set up in front of the Nō stage. The Chinese character for demon (oni) is written on the back of the targets. Old-style food offerings (shinsen) are laid out. Taking their bows and arrows, the archers shoot first towards the northeast (the ushi-tora direction), then into each of the four quarters, and vertically up. Finally, they shoot at the target, followed by the shrine officials (shinshoku).
     A bushasai (written with characters meaning "Warrior Archery Festival") is held on January 4 at the chūgūshi of Futara-san Shrine in Nikkō City, Tochigi  Prefecture. In keeping with a local legend which tells of the fight between the deities of Mt. Futara and Mt. Akagi, arrows are shot in the direction of Mt. Akagi by shrine officials.
  At the Musayumi Festival, celebrated on January 8 at Samukawa Shrine (Samukawa jinja) in Samukawa City, Kōza County, Kanagawa  Prefecture, an ancient-style target is placed on the shrine grounds, surrounded by red-and-white striped curtains. Shrine officials recite ritual chants (kamiuta) and shoot arrows three times as a means of divination for the new year.
 There is a Sacred Archery Festival on January 17 at Mishima Shrine (Mishima taisha) in Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Also called the Rite of the Great Target, it features six archers who take turns shooting arrows at a target. It is said that in the Kamakura period mounted archery (yabusame) was performed.
  Another Sacred Archery Festival is held at Tsushima Shrine (Tsushima jinja) in Tsushima City, Aichi Prefecture on the sixteenth day of the first month of the old lunar calendar. Gohei (ritual paper streamers) are placed on top of the targets and the shrine's administrative head (gūji) shoots arrows towards heaven and earth. Six archers shoot in pairs, two arrows each. The bows are made of willow with hemp strings. Food offerings (shinsen) used in this festival are called Flower Mountain Food Offerings (hana no yama shinsen) and consist of large numbers of mochi, potatoes, Japanese radishes, fruit, seafood, dried shark, dried octopus, flakes of dry bonito, small carp and other types of fish, all piled up on offertory trays (sanbō) with a tree branch and special skewers (shibe-gushi) inserted into the piles.
     Mononobe Shrine (Mononobe jinja) in Ōda City, Shimane Prefecture celebrates a Sacred Archery Festival on January 7. An archery target stand is set up near the shrine gate (torii). A red ritual baton (heisoku) is placed on the stand, while two other batons, one white and one blue are placed to its right and left sides. The target, a large bow and arrows are offered to the kami and fourteen archers seat themselves at the Worship Hall (haiden). The chief priest (gūji) performs a rite of purification (harae) and shrine officials write the Chinese character for "demon" (oni) in large letters on the back of the target. The shrine officials and archers line up before the target, where they make offerings, scatter rice and chant ritual prayers (norito), and then split into two groups of seven, standing to the right and left. The ceremony starts with the ritual chanting of "missing" (agotsu) and "hitting" (atari) the target, followed by an arrow shooting contest. Two archers, one from the left and one from the right, test their skill three times, shooting each time two arrows at the target.
  There is a bushasai (Foot Archery Festival) on January 7 at Nitta Shrine (Nitta jinja) in Miyauchi Town, Sendai City, Kagoshima Prefecture. A procession headed by a leader carrying the target circles the shrine three times counterclockwise, then proceeds down the stone stairway of the entrance path, ringing bells and drums in front of the auxiliary shrines (massha) of the Eastern Gate Guard Shrine and Western Gate Guard Shrine located to the left and right of the path. Here arrows are shot three times at the target by two of the archers. They are followed by other archers bearing larger bows, who cross each other on the shrine bridge, then proceed towards the target and shoot.
     See also Busha matsuri<strong> </strong>(Foot Archery Festival)
— Mogi Sakae
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