Naginata Hoko "Kippu-iri" Rites for Gion Festival"Taihei-no-mai" Performance by Sacred Child5 July 2016 - Sightseeing/Events
In the Naginata Hoko community of the Gion Festival, the "Kippu-iri" opening ritual was held at the town hall in Shijo-dori Karasumahigashi-iru, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, on July 5. Eleven-year-old Ryushin Kumeda, the "Chigo," or a sacred child, gave a public performance of the "Taihei-no-mai" dance, which will be performed on the float in the procession held on July 17.
At 3:00 p.m., officers of the preservation group of the Naginata Hoko float, as well as its musical accompanists, gathered in front of the altar to pray for the safety of the festival. Kumeda presented the "Kippu" votive offering, to the Shinto alter as a promise of dedication to the festival. He then performed the "Taihei-no-mai" dance along with his younger brother, Tokimasa Kumeda, and Hidemaro Mori, who are serving as "Kamuro," or child-ministrants, to show it to the officers. After the board members gave their approval, the three boys lined up at the second floor window of the community hall.
Kumeda performed his role attired in a headdress ornamented with peacock feathers, a long-sleeved, mauve kimono and a pale yellow "Kamishimo" ceremonial dress. While dancing, he leaned far out of the window in time with the slow Gion Festival music.
A crowd of people had gathered in front of the hall to enjoy the graceful dance performance. Kumeda said, "I got very nervous, but I did it well. I will practice harder for the actual event in order to dance better than today."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)