Mikoshi

The centerpiece of many Japanese festivals is the mikoshi, a traveling shrine which is meant to be carried from a main shrine into the surrounding neighborhood. Though there are religious aspects of the mikoshi, many simply view it as a cultural icon around which community is built and fostered. Carrying the mikoshi is considered an…

Torigoe Matsuri

Torigoe Shrine would probably be just another obscure little shrine in Tokyo’s shitamachi (“low town” loosely interpreted as the working-class district) if not for one feature: its huge four ton mikoshi (portable shrine). Once a year, the people living around the shrine literally fight for the right to carry the shrine in a procession on…