This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Atago shrine fire festival, 愛宕神社•火祭り

This winter I visited several fire festivals at different shrines around Kyushu. This one was on Dec. 5th at our local Atago shrine. After a number of rituals the fire is lit under loud chanting. At first priests walk bare feet on burning coal and through the fire. After that a path of hot ashes is formed and people of the public can participate. It is supposed to destroy evil in and around your body.


Tying the knot

Swords, bow and arrow and other fighting utensils were used in the rituals

A 92 year old lady walked on the hot coals. She also had to climb the stairs with over 100 steps to get to the shrine in the first place.

images around the shrine's premises

The kanji or Japanese characters for writing are very complicated and difficult. Not only for us foreigners. Often people practice them on their hands, like this lady visiting the shrine. What is it that she writes on the charms that will later be burned in the sacred fire. Names? A message?

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