Dedication of Huge Rice Cake Lifting by Strong Men and Women"Godairiki-san" at Daigoji Temple, Kyoto
The "Mochiage-chikara Ho-no" offering, a competition to see who can lift up huge red-and-white "Kagami-mochi," or round "mirror" rice cakes, for the longest time, was held on February 23 at Daigoji Temple, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto. Showing off their strength, 32 men and 13 women wrapped their arms around the rice cakes and gave their all to lift them up.
The event is a part of "Godai-Rikison Ninno-e," which is also known as "Godairiki-san," the temple's biggest ceremonial rite. The rice cakes weigh 150 kg for men's competition and 90 kg for the women's. It is believed that the blessing of good health is received through this offering of strength.
The rice-cake-lifting offering took place on a special stage set up in front of "Kondo," or the main hall, which is designated as a National Treasure. Most of the contestants were attempting the challenge for the first time, and the rice cakes were hardly moved from the stand. Once the rice cakes were lifted, a monk announced the time every 30 seconds. Cheers rose from the worshippers who shouted encouraging words such as "Ganbare," or hang in there, and "Taero," or bear with it.
The winners lifted them for five minutes and sixteen seconds in the men's section and for six minutes and twenty-eight seconds in the women's section.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)