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 Performing Arts
Title
Text A traditional event in which participants compete (kisoi) by rowing boats (fune). There are records that refer to Nagasaki peiron (Chinese-style dragon boat canoes) as kisoibune, but normally one writes the characters in reverse order and refers to these events as funakurabe or funakake. The event held at the Imperial Court is also called funakurabe (written with a second set of characters), but this is due to the adoption of the Chinese tradition of racing (kyōto, using the same second set of characters) dragon boats at the seasonal festival held on the fifth day of the fifth month (the Boys' Festival in Japan). The peiron of Nagasaki, the kyaaron of Shiranui Bay (Kumamoto Prefecture), and the haarii of Okinawa are also competitions of Chinese origin and use dragon boats.
     Boat races such as the morotabune of Miho Shrine held as part of a shrine festival can be seen on many islands and areas along the coasts in places like Tsushima, Iki, and the Gotō Islands, and in Uwajima on the Shikoku coast. Their distribution overlaps with that of beliefs in sea kami (umi no kami). Boat races are called funaguro on Iki and funagorō on Tsushima. Competitions in which racers paddle boats can be found throughout Southeast Asia as a festivity to pray for a bountiful harvest, but the Chinese variety held on the fifth day of the fifth month is thought to clearly incorporate connotations of warding off evil and disease as well.
— Yonei Teruyoshi
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