Uwajima Ushi-oni festival

2014 / 7 /22

The summer in Uwajima, Ehime prefecture, features a lively festival called Ushi-oni Festival, which is held on July 22-24 every year as part of the Great Warei Festival.

The history of Ushi-oni (demonish bull), a major player in the festival, date back approximately 200 years, and the legend of Ushi-oni is told in a wide part of the Nanyo region (the southern Ehime).

The most exciting part of the festival is a parade in which robust and huge Ushi-oni floats are shouldered by young men.

Followed by the sound of bamboo flutes blew by children, the Ushi-oni floats march through the town while shaking their long necks as a symbol of driving away evil spirits.

An Ushi-oni float appearing in the festival has a huge basketwork body as long as 5m in a shape of a bull, a long neck made of a log, a fierce head of an ogre, and a tail in the form of a sword.

Also, it is covered with red cloth or the bark of palms. In the festival, spectators enjoy to watch several Ushi-oni floats varying in sizes and colors clash one another.