Last Sunday, January 31st, the annual “driving out demons” matsuri at Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū in Yawata City, Kyoto Prefecture, was held. It was a fine sunny day and a huge crowd was expected. Two ceremonies where held, at 13.00 and 14.00 in the early afternoon. After Shinto priest and staff had gathered themselves in front of the Honden (本殿), the sacred beach bow was figuratively shot towards the four lucky directions (northeast, southeast and southwest, northwest) and this year lucky direction south-southeast. This was followed by striking a budding peach branch in the same directions. Then four “demons - (Oni yarai hito - 鬼やらい人) enter the grounds shouting and trying to scare the kids. The demons then tried to overrun the Shinto clergy, who defended themselves by trowing “Lucky beans (Fukumame - 福豆)” at them while shouting “ Demons out! Luck in!" (鬼は外! 福は内! Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!). The demons were driven out and then the real fun started, “Lucky beans (Fukumame - 福豆)”, where being thrown towards the eagerly awaiting crowd. What an experience, on this nice sunny, day atop of Mt. Otokoyama in Yawata City, Kyoto Prefecture.
Category:Travel and Places
Keywords:Hachiman-gū, Iwashimizu, Kyoto, Setsubun, Shinto, Yawata, mamemaki, 石清水八幡宮, 節分, 豆撒き