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Kyokusui-no-en at Dazaifu Shrine

The festival is held on the first Sunday of March. 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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