The 400th Anniversary of Spring Festival in Nikko Part 2

This is a part 2 entry of the Spring Festival in Nikko. 

On May 18th there is a procession called Hyakumonozoroe sennin musha gyoretsu (百物揃千人武者行列), depicting "the procession of 1000 warriors dressed in 100 different costumes". Although I didn't count exact numbers of costumes and participants, it is said that there are 53 types of traditional costumes (they haven't been changed over 300 years) and around 1200 local guys were in the procession today. 

Among 53 costumes I assume the most popular and the most expensive one must be samurai. It seems around 100 local guys were cosplaying samurai!!!

In the spring festival, three mikoshis (portable shrines) appear. On average 50 guys carry 800kg weigh mikoshi and walk 1 km (one way).

It is announced that enshrined deities in three mikoshis are - Ieyasu Tokugawa (徳川家康), Hideyoshi Toyotomi (豊臣秀吉), and Yoritomo Minamoto (源頼朝). However, personally I don't agree with it at all. I think it is still controversial. Since it's a loooong story, I will mention what I think in the following entry. So stay tuned:)

I bet the most beloved costume must be this - Chigo gyoretsu (稚児行列/little boy's procession).

Look at me! Am I cute?

At 11 AM, the procession left Futaarasan shrine (日光二荒山神社) and headed for Toshogu shrine, then arrived at Otabisho (御旅所/sort of inn for portable shrine). After a couple of ritual ceremonies being taken place in Otabisho, it was time for return trip, which started at 1 PM. Number of audience went down to half when it's returning. I personally like return procession. 

Participants are almost composed of men, except these two who are real Miko (巫女) dispatched from Futaarasan shrine, I assume.

To be continued


  1. I just wanted to let you know that i am very impressed with the work you doing...Magnificent pictures !
    Greetings from Taiwan :))

  2. Amazing pictures :)
    Greetings from Sweden

  3. Great photos, really shows the colour and pageantry of the occasion. The new lens is being put to good use :))


Your comments are always welcome! It's NOT a bad idea to follow this blog, if you are not a follower already:)