Ryushin Kumeda Chosen Sacred Child for Naginata Hoko, Tokimasa Kumeda and Hidemaro Mori AssistantsGion Festival4 June 2016 - Sightseeing/Events
On June 4, "Naginata Hoko Hozonkai," the preservation group of the Naginata Hoko float, in Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto announced this year's "Chigo," or sacred child, and "Kamuro," his two assistants. They will ride on the leading Naginata Hoko float in the first float procession of the Gion Festival on July 17.
The Chigo is 10-year-old Ryushin Kumeda from Kita Ward, a fifth grader at Hiragino Elementary School. Recalling his selection as Chigo, Kumeda said "I was surprised, but I was happy." He then expressed his hopes, saying "I will do my best as Chigo. I want to not make any mistakes in performing the 'Shimenawa-giri,' or ritual of cutting of the sacred rope, in the procession."
One of the two Kamuro, who are the Chigo's assistants, is Ryushin's younger brother, 9-year-old Tokimasa Kumeda, a fourth grader at Hiragino Elementary School, and the other is 7-year-old Hidemaro Mori from Kamigyo Ward, a second grader at Seishin Elementary School. Tokimasa showed his determination to assist his brother, saying, "I want to do my best in supporting the Chigo." Hidemaro expressed his enthusiasm about performing important duties with three of them, saying, "I want all of us to do our best."
Ryushin and Tokimasa are the eldest and second sons of Akitoshi Kumeda, president of Yasaka Kanko Bus Co., Ltd. Hidemaro is the eldest son of Hideaki Mori, president of Morisan Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of hina dolls with Nishijin brocade, Brothers are serving together as the Chigo and Kamuro for the first time in four years. There is a friendly relationship between the Kumeda and Mori families, dating back to the fathers being friends since their junior high school days.
The sacred child and his assistants will participate in the procession after taking part in other rites such as "Osendo-no-Gi" on July 1 and "Shasan-no-Gi" on July 13.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)