Kyoto Gion Festival 京都祇園祭: Yama-hoko Construction 山鉾建て (Photo Story 1)

After four months doing fieldwork in a place that I will later blog about, I am currently in Kyoto for fieldwork on the Gion Festival.

ご無沙汰しております。お久しぶりです。4か月のフィールドワークをしてから(いつかその感想を書くつもりです)、現在、祇園祭の調査のために、しばらく京都におります。

The Gion Festival, or Gion Matsuri in Japanese, is known as one of Japan’s “three great festivals” and its event runs for a month every year in July. It dates back to 869 as a festival to combat plague epidemics that frequently occurs in a city located in a valley that seals in humidity and heat during the summer, when a shrine was carried from Yasaka Shrine to Shinsenen to pray to the gods in order to get the plague to subside. The festival also was also held in an effort to stabilize political unrest that resulted from these epidemics.

京都の祇園祭は日本の「三大祭り」と知られ、毎年の7月に一か月の行事が行っています。盆地にあり、夏に病気になりやすい京都で流行っていた疫病を抑えるために、869年から祇園祭が始まりました。その時、神輿が八坂神社から神泉苑まで運ばれ、京都の市民が神様に祈った。さらに、当時の暗殺が多かった政治的な不安を安定する原因もありました。

The Kyoto merchant neighborhood associations, known as yama-hoko chō, became involved in the Gion Festival after Kyoto was mostly destroyed in the Onin Civil War at the end of the 15th century and was rebuilt into its current grid formation. Much of the festival floats (called yama and hoko, click here for a short explanation ) seen today in downtown Kyoto dates from then.

15世紀末に起こった応仁の乱によって、京都が新しく建てられ、京都の山鉾町が誕生しました。現在の山鉾町と祇園祭の巡行を回っている山鉾はその時から活躍してきました。

This website gives extensive information about the Kyoto Gion Festival in English. The Gion Matsuri Yama-Hoko Preservation Society webpage (mostly Japanese, with some English and other languages) and the Kyoto City Tourism Association webpage (Japanese) also gives a good overview of the festival.

祇園祭に関するホームページは上のリンクにあります。ぜひクリックしてください。

This month, I will do occasional short photo stories of what I have seen at the Gion Festival. Below is the first one:

今月、京都祇園祭のフォトストリー(写真からの物語)をする予定ですが、最初のものは以下にあります。

Construction craftsmen use a pulley to flip the Kikusui Hoko over, as spectators look on.
Construction craftsmen use a pulley to flip the Kikusui Hoko over, as spectators look on /Photo by author

I took this photo today, which marks the second day of the hoko-type float construction and the first day of the yama-type float construction. The Kikusui-hoko , located here, was initially constructed on its side. The top part (that looks like a stick) is attached to the base, before craftsman use a pulley to flip it over to the correct orientation. This event draws a lot of spectators, including a Japanese city tour group next to me, who took photos on their cameras and cell phones. A Kikusui-hoko neighborhood association member, standing on a ladder, was also taking photos of the event.

この写真は今日、山鉾建ての日に撮った菊水鉾の写真です。鉾建てでは、最初に水平から建てられています。そして、職人さんは長い上の部分(菊の飾りも載せっている)が台座に付着し、滑車を使い、鉾を反転させます。この出来事はよく大勢の見物の人々を集め、その人々はカメラとスマートフォンで写真を撮っています。私のとなりに、祇園祭のツアーの団体もいました。梯子の上に立っているのは、この出来事の写真を撮っている菊水鉾のメンバーです。

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s