Kyokusui-no-en at Dazaifu Shrine
The festival will be held on March 3, Sunday in 2019
Kyokusui-no-en is a Japanese traditional ceremony held at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine on the
first Sunday of March, a purification ceremony on a winding stream, is performed by ladies and
gentlemen in a ceremonial court robe under the plum blossoms in full-bloom.
After the Tobiume-no-mai dance by shrine maidens, Kyokusui-no-En Festival begins.
Vermilion-lacquered cups full of sake are set afloat down the stream.
Before the cups reach each of the participants sitting along the stream, they have to make up
a Japanese poem called waka, and write it down on a strip of fancy paper.
When the cups reach the participants, they drink the sakeand hand the paper strip and cup over
to an attendant.
The ceremony has its origin in a historical fact that Ono-no-Yoshifuru, an elder brother of a
noted-calligrapher Ono-no-Tofu, held a ceremony to appease the soul of Michizane Sugawara and
to beguile tedious hours in a rural life.
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