Festival of AgesHistorical Procession Colors Ancient Capital's Streets22 October 2014 - Sightseeing/Events
One of Kyoto's three main festivals, "Jidai Matsuri," or Festival of Ages, wound through Kyoto City amid the deepening autumn. About 1,000 years of customs from when the capital was Kyoto, were reenacted in their various styles, tracing back from the Meiji Restoration to the Heian Period. Approximately 2,000 participants in the procession unfolded like a picturesque scroll of history with the ancient capital as the stage.
After a Shinto ritual was conducted at Heian Jingu Shrine in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, the "Shinko-retsu" procession, consisting mainly of two portable shrines in which the enshrined deity is transferred, headed for Kyoto Gyoen National Garden, Kamigyo Ward, at 9:00 a.m.
Under a cloudy sky, the lead loyalists of the Meiji Restoration departed from the Kenrei-mon Gate of the Kyoto Imperial Palace at noon, waving a banner of the imperial forces. Playing flutes and drums in a light "Pi-hyara-rattata" rhythm, the procession advanced on the graveled path. It was followed by the "Shishi-retsu," or procession of zealous patriots from the end of the Edo Period, and the "Joraku-retsu," or procession of people going up to ancient Kyoto, dressed in traditional "Hakama" trousers with "Haori" jackets and soldiers' camp helmets. The attractive multilayered "Junihitoe" kimono worn by Princess Kazunomiya, who married into the Tokugawa Shogunate family, enhanced the beauty of the procession.
Furthermore, the customs of each period, including the Azuchi-Momoyama, Muromachi, Kamakura, and Heian Periods, were recreated and fascinated tourists and residents lining the streets.
To commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of Heian-kyo, or the ancient capital in the Heian Period, the Jidai Matsuri began in 1895, the year Heian Jingu Shrine was founded. This year marks the 120th year and the 110th performance of the "Jidai Gyoretsu" procession.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)