The Day of Furukawa Mautsuri
Furukawa Matruri & Residents
Needles to say, Okoshi Daiko (Rousing Drums) and street parade of festival floats are star attractions of “HidaFurukawa Masturi” to be held on April 19 and 20, but for Furukawa residents the Matsuri begins in early March, with what is called the “Chusen-sai”(drawing festival). A director of the Matsuri is assigned among 4 groups at the shrine, and all “Ujiko” (shrine parishioners) in 4 groups start preparation for the Matsuri. Men hold meetings everyday to decide roles and procedures of Matsuri in each groups divided by resident areas: Four groups named after Four-Guardian-Gods ( Azure Dragon”Sei-Ryuu”, Vermillion Bird”Suzaku”, White Tiger “Byakko” and Black Tortoise “Genbu”), and 11 groups of festival floats.
In April, every night you hear the sound of children’s practice of “Ohayashi”(musicla bands) leaking from assembly halls. On the festival day the God is led from Keta Wakamiya Shrine to the town center. The route to the town is drawn by the purifying salt, and it branches to individual houses, where “Chochin” (paper lantern), “Maku” and “Noren”(sign curtains) are prepared, to invite the God. The divine custom such as not seeing the God parade from the second floor of the house is succeeded over generations.Okoshi-Daiko is a symbol of “Furukawa Yancha”(mischievous man), this is the day once a year that blaze up the hearts of men of all ages.