NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


米倉鹿嶋神社 献饌行事 Yonekura-kashima-jinja Kensen-gyouji The Kensen Ritual at Yonekura Kashima Shrine

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The Kensen Ritual is performed on September 9 to 10 every year at Kashima Shrine in the Yonekura area in Osaki City, the rice producing center of Miyagi Prefecture, where famous rice brands such as Sasanishiki and Hitomebore were born.

Kensen is a Shinto ritual of offering food to the god. It is performed before a shrine priest offers a prayer. As the oldest and most historic shrine in Osaki City, this ritual had been performed by the descendants of the vassals of the Osaki clan (a branch of the Ashikaga clan, who were descended from Seiwa Genji) until the end of World War II. Today it is performed by the hands of local people.

On the first day, the first rice ear of the season is offered to the god in appreciation for a rich harvest. Then, it is followed by other rites and ends with Naorai (banquet), in which holy sake wine and votive offerings are served to the participants. The finale of the festival is the parade of Mikoshi performed on the second day. This solemn ritual is prefecturally designated as an intangible folk cultural property (manners and customs).

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Aza-Nakata, Furukawa Yonekura, Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture 989-6134
Yonekura Kashima Shrine

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