Monday, January 15, 2018

Remains of the 2018 Kayashima Shrine Tondo Festival

Kayashima Shrine (萱島神社) conducted its Tondo Festival (とんど祭り) on January 15, to coincide with ko-shogatsu (小正月), or "small new year" - ko-shogatsu is a holdover from the time when Japan used a lunar calendar. This festival has many names (Dondo yaki - どんど焼き - is a common name but there are many others) and local variations. At the Tondo festival, shimekazari (a traditional New Years decoration hanged at the entrance to a house), omamori (good luck charms), ofuda (talisman), ema (votive tablets) as well as other religious or new year's related ornaments are burned. This is in effect a sort of recycling - these various ornaments are returned after a year or so of use and new ones are purchased.

I have previously written about the Tondo festival at the Shinto shrine in my neighborhood. (It is actually one of my favorite VAOJ posts - check it out!)

Visual Anthropology of Japan, Tondo Festival - とんど祭り, posted January 16, 2013.

I missed the actual burning this morning but I was able to see the ashes/remains when I visited the shrine in the afternoon. The religious paraphernalia were burned in the metal barrel and she ashes were occasionally dumped when needed. It seems that from the size of the ash heap many items were burned.

Here is a close-up of the remains in the barrel. A couple items seems to have been deposited after the burning ended.

These boxes placed by the entrance are for non-burnable items.

You can see some of the items deposited in the boxes. The mikan oranges were most likely a part of the shimekazari.

The Kayashima shrine is famous because there is a train station right above it. The kami-deity associated with the shrine resides in a large 700 year old Camphor tree. When the train station was being built, the tree could not simply be cut down. Thus the station was built around it.

The tree/kami is seen as especially powerful. Many people claim their wishes have come true after praying and giving a small cash offering. The shrine is small but contains a lot of interesting sights.

2018 is the Year of the Dog so it seems appropriate that the shrine would have this public service request: Please take your dog's poop home.

Previous VAOJ posts on the summer festival at the Kayashima shrine:

Visual Anthropology of Japan, Local Matsuri I: The Mikoshi, posted July 30, 2013.

Visual Anthropology of Japan, Local Matsuri II: Evening Activities, posted July 31, 2013.

Visual Anthropology of Japan, Local Matsuri III: Tamago Senbei, posted August 1, 2013.

Visual Anthropology of Japan, Local Matsuri IV: People, posted August 2, 2013.

Visual Anthropology of Japan, Local Matsuri V: くわしく, posted August 3, 2013.

Visual Anthropology of Japan, Local Matsuri, 2014 Edition, posted August 17, 2014.

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