sanja festival

2014 / 05 / 16 – 18

Sanjya Festival in the Asakusa Shrine, Tokyo, is held in May every year.
The word “Sanjya” refers to three men; the Hinokuma brothers and Hajino.
They contributed to the foundation of the Senso-ji temple during the Asuka period, and are now enshrined in the Asakusa shrine.
The Asakusa shrine is said to have founded when the fishermen, Hinokuma brothers, found the image of the Kannon in the Sumida River in the 7th century, and Hajino built a hall to enshrine the image. At the main event of the festival, Mikoshi togyo (portable shrine parade), three sets of the Asakusa shrine’s mikoshi and many other mikoshi from the neighboring communities are brought out of the shrine at 6 am, and carried through the Asakusa quarter with loud shouts of “Soiya!” or “Wasshoi!” until returning to the shrine at 8 pm.
Also, at the shrine, the Japanese traditional dance called “Binzasara-mai” is performed using a unique instrument made of many pieces of wooden plates bound up together.

The purpose of the dance is to pray for the abundant harvest, business prosperity and prosperity of descendants.