NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/8/21

棉祖祭 Men-so-sai Menso-sai (Cotton Festival)

Jp En


Tenjiku Shrine in Tenjiku Town in Nishio City, Aichi Prefecture, is the only shrine in Japan which enshrines Niihadakami, the god of cotton.

In 799 in the early Heian period, a Tenjiku-jin (Indian) drifted ashore to the beach of Nishio with cotton seeds. He lived in a village, which was later named Tenjiku Village, and gave the villagers the cotton seeds as a token of his appreciation. Unfortunately, the seeds did not grow well due to the climatic conditions, but Tenjiku Village is considered the birthplace of cotton in Japan.

After his death, the village people had worshipped his portrait as Koso-shin (the god of cotton). In 1883 in the Meiji period, when a shrine was to be founded in this village, people created the name “Niihadakami” for the god of cotton and enshrined it as their guardian god.

In Menso-sai held in October every year, local people carry boat-shaped portable shrine called Funa-mikoshi, reenacting the scene of the god’s drifting ashore. Also, the traditional rite of Watauchi (cotton beating) is performed by priests. The shrine is crowded with visitors including people from the cotton industry.

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address
Tenjiku-cho, Nishio, Aichi Prefecture 445-0051
name
Tenjiku Shrine
hp
http://www.geocities.jp/matukijimahatimansya/tenji...




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