The Summer Festival, or “OMATSURI,” is coming soon again, from Friday, Aug 4, to Sunday, Aug 6. The HONMOKU-WADA FESTIVAL COMMITTEE is in the process of planning our town's special programs for this festival. [Special Programs] 1) “BON-ODORI” [AUG 4(FRI) to AUG 6(SUN) in the evening] This is a traditional dancing event held around a central drum tower in the park field in front of Honmoku Shrine. 2) “MIKOSHI” [AUG 4(FRI) Night, AUG 5(SAT) & 6(SUN) in the afternoon] “MIKOSHI” is a portable shrine carried on the shoulders of volunteers clad in traditional festival garb who parade through the neighborhood according to a scheduled timetable. There are also MIKOSHI for children to pull. All of you are welcome to join! On July 1~2, and July 8~9, members of our committee will visit every house in the neighborhood to ask for a small donation to make this festival happen. We will be grateful for your cooperation. In exchange, you will receive coupons for food and drink at the festival. If you donate more than \5,000 yen, you will receive an original T-shirt. Through this event we would like to share with you our community spirit. Let's have fun together and make this summer festival a great success!
About the event of the HONMOKU shrine
The ritual "Ouma Nagashi" is the main event of the Honmoku Festival which dates back its history to 1566 when the first ritual was held, according to the annals of Honmoku Shrine. "Ouma" which serves as the significant figure of the ritual is made of bundles of dried hatch. It is approximately 1 meter long with the head of the horse and the body of the turtle. Six "ouma" or horse figurines which represent the original six hamlets of Honmoku – Makado , Ushigome , Hara , Miyabara , Minowa and Dai - are prepared each year. The day before the festival the six horse figurines are carried to Honmoku Shrine by the Hatori family who has been solely responsible for creating them since olden times. On the day of the festival, the six figurines are placed on a float and Honmoku fishing port. Upon arriving at the port, the figurines are handed over the heads of selected festival participants who deliver them to two sacred boats waiting to carry the figurines offshore. As these participants get closer to the boats, they gradually pick up speed. This movement is called "SEME" which means aggressiveness, and the ritual reaches its climax with this movement. As soon as all the figurines are placed on the sacred boats, the two boats set off to the sea. At some point offshore these figurines are released from the boats and flow down the current. The releasing of the figurines symbolizes people's wish to ward off evil spirits.
Please come and join us to celebrate this festive occasion together!