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Dorouchi Festival

Play time
3:00
Dates
2016-03-27

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In this episode, we will introduce you to an Intangible Cultural Property of Fukuoka Prefecture, Dorouchi Festival in Asakura City.
It is widely regarded as one of the rarest forms of traditional festivals in the country.
It hails from a Shinto belief that; "the more mud stays on the priest, the more yield there will be for that year."

Location: (Haki) Asakura City, Fukuoka Prefecture
Date: 4th Sunday of March
Official Name: Haki-no-Dorouchi

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There are many traditional festivals and events in Japan.
One of the most unique ones in the country is Dorouchi Festival in Asakura City.
Aso Shrine located in Haki, Asakura City hosts Dorouchi Festival, invocating a year of fruitful harvest, on the 4th Sunday of March every year.
Domestically known as an unique outing, the festivity has been designated as an Intangible Cultural Property of Fukuoka Prefecture.

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designated as an Intangible Cultural Property of Fukuoka Prefecture.
The chief priest for the year is decided by the sacred lot.
Following invocations by the Shinto priests, the participating parishioners would share about a gallon of sake in a large cup.
12 local elementary kids wait outside for their time.

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The chief priest now dressed in pure white gown positions himself in the sacred "kaminoza" within the premises.
As he enters the muddy ground, the boys would apply sludge all over the priest.

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Drunk and wobbly, the mud covered priest gets up to take the 500m walk to a dosojin Shinto monument location along the guiding sounds of Japanese lions.
This walk specifically is called "gojinko," (or "faith walk").

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The boys are to continue throwing mud at the priest every 3-4 meters while he takes the journey.

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Held under both arms, the priest is covered in mud, as are the bystanders, houses, and pavements along the way.
The belief is, "the more mud stays on the priest, the more yield there will be for that year."
Such is the festivity worthy to be called one of the rarest, Dorouchi Festival of Asakura City.

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