Kurama Himatsuri, Kurama Fire
Karasu Tengu is a goblin portrayed as an evil crow-like creature with the body of a man. It was
capable of kidnapping adults and children, starting fires, and ripping
apart those who wilfully damaged the forest. Sometimes Tengu would
abduct human beings, only to release them later, but the survivor would
return home in a state of dementia (called Tengu
Kakushi, meaning hidden by Tengu).
Fire Festival (Kurama Himatsuri) begins
at sunset with the lighting of open flames in front of each house.
carry flaming torches in a procession to purify their homes.
First very young boys with small torches start marching encouraged
parents. Then older boys (in twos and threes) parade up and down the
street with heavier, longer torches. Finally, the grown
appear straining under the crushing weight of their massive torches. They
march on and
around swinging the large flame back and forth, all the while singing
sai-rei, sai-ryo! (festival, good festival!).
The climax is reached at
gather one by one in front of the Yuki Shrine, and suddenly, a group of
cheering men races up the stairs to the shrine carrying a large mikoshi
to make the annual offering to the gods.
festival is said to have been originated from the historical event where
villagers welcomed a deity
who was enshrined in the
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