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Another mikoshi (carriage thought to hold deities) being held high and carried through the crowds around the surrounding streets of the Asakusa Shrine.


Shinto followers believe that it serves as the vehicle of a divine spirit in Japan at the time of a parade of deities. Often, the mikoshi resembles a miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda and a railing. Typical shapes are rectangles, hexagons, and octagons. The body, which stands on two poles (for carrying), is usually lavishly decorated, and the roof might hold a carving of a Phoenix.

During a matsuri, people bear a mikoshi on their shoulders by means of the two poles. They bring the mikoshi from the shrine, carry it around the neighborhoods that worship at the shrine, and in many cases leave it in a designated area, resting on blocks, for a time before returning it to the shrine. Some shrines have the custom of dipping the mikoshi in the water of a nearby lake, river or ocean. At certain festivals, the people who bear the mikoshi wave it wildly from side to side, and from time to time, deaths occur when a mikoshi strikes a bystander or participant.

A mikoshi was believed to have been first used to transport Hachiman to Tōdai-ji temple from Usa Jingu in 749.

from wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Peter Carney (PeterC) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 349 W: 90 N: 243] (2242)
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