Eliminating Demons, Praying for Peace and Security"Tsuina-shiki" at Yoshida Jinjya Shrine2 February 2014 - Sightseeing/Events
"Tsuina-shiki," a ceremony that has been handed down for exorcizing evil spirits and plague deities, took place on February 2, the eve of "Setsubun," or the day before spring begins, at Yoshida Jinjya Shrine, in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto. A prayer for peace and security of this year was offered by driving away roaring demons.
The "Tsuina-shiki" ceremony was originally performed on New Year's Eve of the lunar calendar in the Imperial Court during the Heian Period. It was restored by the shrine in 1928 as a part of the "Setsubun" festival. It is also called "Oni Yarai."
At 6:00 p.m., red, blue and yellow demons, which symbolize anger, sorrow and agony, appeared in front of the main shrine. As they rampaged around, roaring and brandishing iron clubs, and almost assaulting visitors, "Hososhi," or a person who is believed to possess the power to exorcize plagues, arrived and hunted them down with his shield and pike. Then "Shokei," or high-rank courtiers, who are "toshi-otoko," or men born under this year's Oriental zodiac sign, drove off the demons off by shooting reed arrows with peach-tree bows.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)