Thrilling "Bun-mawashi" Captivates SpectatorsAgata Matsuri in Uji, Kyoto6 June 2016 - Temples/Shrines
Agata Matsuri, known as "Anya no Kisai" meaning an odd festival in the dark of night, took place from June 5 to the early hours of June 6 in Uji, Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture. The festival's highlight "Bonten Togyo," the passage of a float carrying a Bonten, was separately performed by Agata Shrine and parties related to "Hosan-kai," a group consisting of religious associations in Osaka and Hyogo Prefectures, for the second straight year. The "Bun-mawashi," a performance of dynamically swinging the Bonten fascinated visitors.
The Bonten managed by Hosan-kai departed from Uji Shrine Otabisho at around 11:00 p.m. The float paraded through the street to Uji-bashi Nishizume, violently shaking and turning the Bonten, which is a wooden Shinto ritual wand with white paper streamers arranged into a spherical shape. In Agata Shrine, a Shinto ritual of moving a divine spirit was held in the darkness at around 12:00 a.m. Approximately 70 local residents performed the Bun-mawashi, shouting out "Mawase," or turn it, "Mottoike," or work harder, and so on.
Hosan-kai and Agata Shrine have been in contention over their differing views of the Shinto ritual, "Bonten Togyo." The ritual has been held separately since 2004, except in 2009 and 2014.
There was a turnout of approximately 120,000 people, about 65,000 more than last year when the weather was rainy, according to a safety promotion council for Agata Matsuri.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)