Tashiro Shrine is located in the Tashiro area in the center of Saigo, Misato. The shrine is widely known for the Onda Festival, which takes place in July each year. The shrine's festival calendar, of which the Onda Festival is the central focus, begins with the Spring Festival on the third day of the third month of the lunar calendar, in which peach blossoms and diamond-shaped mochi rice cakes are offered up to the gods, and ends on the final day of the Grand Festival in late November. On that day, a purification ritual is held in which the rice harvest is offered up to Kamado-gami, the Kitchen God. These are important agricultural rites that richly convey this region's ancient rice culture.
About 950 years ago, dogs howled continuously in the direction of Mount Hikage for seven days and seven nights, and a mysterious light shone on the mountain's peak. When the villagers dug up that spot, they found the tip of a plow. In the belief that this object contained the spirit of a deity, the shrine was built on that spot in 1032. It was initially called Kirishima Shrine, but the name was changed to Tashiro Shrine in 1908.
Tashiro Shrine, the scene of the Onda Festival, one of Misato's top three festivals
Onda Festival, one of Misato's top three festivals, is held on the first weekend of July every year. Gods and men, cows and horses become one in rice-planting rituals in the shrine's sacred rice field. In the dynamic daikaki ritual, young men plow the field by riding horses and cows through the field, after which the rice is planted, and prayers are offered for an abundant harvest and the health of the worshippers. This festival was designated as an Intangible Cultural Property of Miyazaki in 1988.
|Web Sites||(In Japanese) http://www.town.miyazaki-misato.lg.jp/2535.htm|
|Address||Saigo-Tashiro, Misato-cho, Higashi Usuki-gun, Miyazaki|
|Access||40 min. by car from Hyuga Interchange on Higashi-Kyushu Expressway|
|Business Hours||Open all hours|
|Inquiries||TEL: 0982-68-2522 (Misato Tourism Association)|