Hounen Matsuri: The Preparations (cont.)
 
The parade starts at Kumato Shrine, about one mile away. People gather at the shrine, where the giant wooden phallus has already been lifted into its palanquin. The portable shrine beside it belongs to the diety Takeinadane-no-mikoto. He is the "husband" of Tagata Shrine's principal diety, Tamahime-no-mikoto.

The mikoshi, or portable shrine,
of Takeinadane-no-mikoto
The god himself, awaiting
the start of the procession
The decorations around the shrine are very pertinent to the theme of this festival. Here we see a very graphic rendition of a fertility icon painted on one of the banners that the participants carried through the streets on the way to Tagata Shrine.


Before the palanquins are brought down to the street,
there are some final blessings and hymns.

Once they are brought down to the street, there is some
dancing and singing before the procession begins moving.


And thus, the procession begins...

 

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