Praying for Protection from Misfortunes in Gorgeous Long-sleeved KimonoIchihime Shrine, Kyoto
"Nyonin Yakuyoke Matsuri," or a festival to protect women against misfortunes, was held on January 29 at Ichihime Shrine, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto. Women of unlucky ages were dressed in kimono with long, trailing sleeves and received an exorcism rite. They threw beans to pray for safety for the year.
The festival is an annual event of Ichihime Shrine, which is known as a guardian deity for women. A total of five women participated. Some of them will be 19 years old this year by traditional Japanese age reckoning, which is an unlucky age, and the others are either one year older or younger.
After attending the exorcism rite, all the participants dressed in gorgeous kimono went to Gojo-ohashi Bridge and scattered beans toward the Kamo River. An 18-year-old, freshman participant who attends Ritsumeikan University and will study in Germany from this summer, said, "I prayed for a successful life at my destination."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)