Hie shrine festival


Santōen, 19C
Pair scrolls
Ink and pigments on paper

Hie shrine is a shrine located in Tokyo. In Edo period, it was the guardian shrine of Edo castle, hence the festival had been regarded an official and one of the biggest matsuri in Edo.

The Sannō matsuri grew bigger and bigger, once they had three mikoshi (portable shrine) and sixty dashi (decorated cars). Each of dashi was financed by each community in Edo, and they made the most elaborate decoration. Following those cars, there were many spectacles called Tsuke-matsuri. People pulled decorated cars and theatres where the music was played, and they paraded in costumes. Especially the while elephant tsukurimono costume was popular, it came out several times. In this elephant, four people take each leg, and paraded through the avenue of Edo. Showing its popularity, the elephant appeared in the Edo guide books in 18C-19C: “Edo mōsho zue” and “Tōto saiji-ki”.