Children Wrestle to Drive Evil AwayCrow Sumo at Kamigamo Shrine9 September 2016 - Temples/Shrines
On September 9, which is "Choyo no Sekku" or the Double Yang Festival, "Karasu-zumo," or crow sumo-wrestling ceremony was held at Kamigamo Shrine, Kita Ward, Kyoto, to exorcize evil spirits and pray for a good harvest. After the Shinto ritual of mimicking the cries of crows, children vigorously did sumo.
As Waka Nishimura, the "Saio-dai," or heroine of the Aoi Festival, watched, the Shinto ritual was held in front of Hosodono, which is located south of the main shrine. Two shrine parishioners dressed in white took bird-like sideway jumps to move to the front of "Tatezuna," or two cone-shaped sand mounds modeled after the sacred mountains behind the shrine. They offered swords and bows to "Tatezuna," and then thrice mimicked the cawing of crows, calling, "Ka-ka-ka" and "Ko-ko-ko."
In the sumo ring in front of "Tatezuna," a total of 22 children, first to sixth graders at local elementary schools, formed two teams and wrestled under the summer-like strong sun. When a match was decided, the gathered spectators burst into applause.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)