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五馬市くにち楽 Itumashi-kunitigaku Itsumashi-Kunichigaku

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Itsumashi-Kunichigaku is a part of Itsumakunichi, a traditional autumn festival held in Itsuma, a region of Amagasemachi in Hita, Oita Prefecture.

Itsumakunichi is a festival to pray for a bountiful harvest of the five grains (soybean, rice, corn, wheat, and sorghum). The festival was designated as an intangible cultural asset of Oita and dates back more than 100 years.

Itsumakunichi combines four festivals that take place in four different parts of the city at different times. The first festival, called the Honjo-Kunichigaku, takes place on 20 and 21 October at Kanakori Temple. The second festival, called the Tsukada-Kunichimikoshi, takes place on 22 and 23 October at Aso Temple. The third festival, called the Deguchi-Kunichigaku, takes place on 24 and 25 October at Oimatsu Temple. The Itsumashi-Kunichigaku, which takes place on 26 and 27 October at Tamarai Temple, is the last festival of the Itsumakunichi.

At Itsumashi-Kunichigaku, Tengu (a long-nosed, red-faced, demi-god), kappa (river imps), Daikoku (One of the seven gods of fortune) and Fukurokuju (one of the seven lucky gods) march cheerfully along to the buoyant music. The highlight of the festival, however, is a cane dance called the midare-tsue, that is performed by everyone.

Itsumashi-Kunichigaku is a traditional festival that should be cherished by people and preserved for posterity.
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