平方祇園祭のどろいんきょ行事歴史・見どころ

歴史

この行事が始まった由来や年代は定かではありませんが、約200年の歴史があると思われます。

7月中旬に行われるこの祭りは、多くの夏祭りと同じく「悪疫退散」の意味があるとも考えられています。というのも、祭りが行われる「八枝神社」は、明治以前は「牛頭天王社」と呼ばれ、牛頭天王※1を祀った神社でした。牛頭天王の祭礼として全国的に有名なのが、京都・八坂神社の「祇園祭」です。「祇園祭」は悪疫退散を祈願する祭りであることから、「どろいんきょ」も同じ意味を持ちます。

《注釈》
1、牛頭天王(ごずてんのう):スサノオノミコトとも呼ばれ、祇園祭の総本山とも言える京都の八坂神社(祇園社)に祀られているだけでなく、八坂神社をはじめとする全国の鎮守社の御祭神

This is an unusual festival designated as an intangible folk cultural asset by Saitama Prefecture. Even in Japan, it is a rare celebration: plain wooden portable shrines are brought to gardens sprayed with water and rolled around vigorously until covered in mud. The spectacle of the youths rolling the shrines as they become slathered in mud is certainly a satisfying one—just watch out for flying mud!

The origins of this event are not well known; however, a banner dated with the year 8 of the Bunmei era of the Edo period (1825) suggests that there are about 200 years’ worth of history behind it. The festival, held in mid-July, is believed to carry the same meaning as many other summer festivals, which is the wish to ward off epidemics. Yaeda Shrine, which celebrates the festival, is a shrine to the deity Gozu Tenno¹ and has been known as a Gozu Tenno shrine since before the Meiji period. One festival held in honor of Gozu Tenno, famous nationwide, is the Gion Festival held by Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto. Because the Gion Festival is held as a prayer to ward off epidemics, it is believed that the Doro Inkyo, which is also celebrated for Gozu Tenno, carries the same meaning. (Doro, by the way, means “mud”!)

[Notes]

1,Gozu Tenno is said to be the Indian god Gavagriva.

 

みどころ

このお祭りの特徴は「いんきょ神輿」と呼ばれる、装飾のない白木造りの神輿です。神輿は神酒所※2である数か所の民家に寄りながら、町内を渡御※3して行きます。

神酒所の家の庭には、大量の水がまかれていて、庭の土は水を含んで泥状になっています。白木の「いんきょ神輿」は到着すると、泥の中に投げ入れられ、どんどんと泥だらけになっていきます。このように、「いんきょ神輿」を転がすことを「どろいんきょ」と呼び、この祭り一番の見どころです。神輿を横にぐるぐると回転させたり、垂直に立てた神輿を勢いよく倒して、泥が飛び跳ねる様子は迫力満点。

神輿は全ての神酒所を巡ると、「お山納め」といって八枝神社に戻っていきます。

《注釈》
2、神酒所(みきしょ):渡御の途中で酒肴を振る舞う場所
3、渡御(とぎょ):神輿・山車などが出かけて行く(巡行)こと

A characteristic of this festival is the plain wooden portable shrines, which are called Inkyo shrines. These shrines visit several homes that are treated as Mikisho², or drinking halls for the gods, as they make their procession³ through town.

Large quantities of water are sprayed in the yards of the Mikisho homes and the soil there becomes muddy. When the plain wooden Inkyo shrines arrive at each house, the bearers dump them into the mud, and they become steadily muddier. Thus, the rolling of the Inkyo shrines is called Doro Inkyo and is the highlight of this festival. The bearers roll the shrines round and round in the mud, stand them up vertically and shove them over, and mud flies in the air—it is a sight to behold! Once the shrines have visited each Mikisho, they return to Yaeda Shrine; this is called “Oyama Osame,” or “mountain finish.”

 

[Notes]

2,Mikisho are sites at which food and drink are offered to the gods during the procession.

3,Togyo (procession) is the patrol that portable shrines and festival floats are taken on.

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