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This year's anniversaries
Meiji Jingu Spring Grand Festival 2019

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It is the season of the Meiji Jingu Spring Grand Festival. From April 27th to May 3rd,@Meiji Jingu will hold several solemn Shinto ceremonies including one of the largest rituals of the year at Meiji Jingu. These rituals are scheduled for 10 am and 2 pm on May 2nd, and the largest one for 10 am on May 3rd. Members of the Sukeikai, an organization which was established in 1946 for paying respect to the enshrined Kami and for supporting Meiji Jingu, attend those rituals in the inner courtyard of the main shrine buildings. Shrine maidens will perform “Urayasu-no-Mai”, a Kagura(sacred dance) based on a poem which Emperor Showa, the last Emperor before the current Emperor, wrote praying for world-wide peace and wishing that nothing disturb the world’s tranquility

To all deities
Of heaven and earth I pray
For a tranquil world
Without disturbances
Like the sea in the morning.

On the occasion of this festival, various Japanese traditional performing arts are performed in honour of the deities on the stage in front of the main shrine building. Everyone is welcome to observe these performances such as Bugaku(ancient imperial court music), Hogaku and Hobu(classical Japanese dance), Noh and Kyogen(classical Japanese theatre), Sankyoku(traditional Japanese music), and Satsuma biwa(Japanese lute).

Saturday, April 27

11:00-

Bugaku [ancient imperial court dance]

Wednesday, May 1 13:30- Yabusame at the west approach
14:00- Budo(martial arts) performances by Instructors of Shiseikan at the second building Shiseikan
Thursday, May 2 10:00- Morning Ceremony
11:45- Noh, Kyogen [classical Japanese theatre]
14:00- Afternoon Ceremony
15:45- Hogaku, Hobu [classical Japanese dance and music]
Friday, May 3 9:00- Kyudo (Japanese archery) at the second building Shiseikan (Martial Arts Hall)
10:00- Grand Ceremony
12:00- Sankyoku [traditional Japanese music]
14:30- Satsuma biwa [Japanese lute]

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Bugaku Noh

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Kyogen Hogaku, Hobu

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Sankyoku Satsuma biwa

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Kashima-no-Tachi Yabusame



The 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Jingu Autumn Grand Festival November 1 - 3, 2018
The 166th Anniversary of Emperor Meiji's Birthday

On November 3rd, the birthday of Emperor Meiji, the present Emperor sends an Imperial Messenger with his offerings to Meiji Jingu’s solemn Shinto ceremony. In the course of the celebration, Japanese traditional performing arts such as Bugaku, moh, Kyogen, and ancient Japanese martial arts will be presented in honour of the deities.

ySchedule of the Ritual Ceremoniessz

10:00

Tue, 1 Nov Enshrinement Anniversary Ceremony

14:00

Tue, 1 Nov Afternoon Ceremony
10:00 Fri, 2 Nov Morning Ceremony
10:00 Sat, 3 Nov The 166th Anniversary of the Birth of Emperor Meiji


yMeiji Jingu Autumn Grand Festival Performance in honor the deitiesz

11:00

Tue, 27 Oct Bugaku at the main shrine building
12:00 Tue, 1 Nov Noh, Kyogen at the main shrine building
15:45 Tue, 1 Nov Sankyoku at the main shrine building
11:45 Fri, 2 Nov Hogaku, Hobu at the main shrine building
9:00 Sat, 3 Nov Kyudo at Budojo
9:00 Sat, 3 Nov Aikido at the west approach
10:00 Sat, 3 Nov Kobudo at the west approach
11:00 Sat, 3 Nov Momote-shiki at Tresure Museum
13:00 Sat, 3 Nov Yabusame at the west approach
15:00 Sat, 3 Nov Satsuma biwa at the main shrine building
Thu, 25 Oct. -
Wed, 23 Fri
KikkateniChrysanthemum Exhibitionj
at the main approach



Kigensai

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February 11th is the day of the foundation of Japan, and ceremonies called "Kigensai" are held at the sanctuaries of the Imperial Palace and at Shinto shrines throughout the country.

The government made the day of Emperor Jinmu's enthronement as the first Emperor of Japan at Kashihara-no-miya in Unebi (the present Kashihara Jingu in Nara prefecture represents the remains of that place), which is recorded in the "Nihon Shoki" ("The Chronicles of Japan"), the starting point of time-reckoning and established it in 1873 as Japan's National Foundation Day.

Together with New Year and "Tencho-setsu" (the Emperor's birthday), "Kigen-setsu" was made one of the "three grand national holidays" (from 1927 "four grand national holidays" including Emperor Meiji's birthday "Meiji-setsu"), and memorial ceremonies were held at primary schools and all sorts of organizations nationwide.

IIn 1948 after the war (Japan was under occupation) it was extinct by the enactment of the "Act on National Holidays", but since the restoration of independence in 1952 voices demanding the revival of "Kigen-setsu" condensed into a national movement, and in 1966 the day was added to the national holidays as "National Foundation Day".

Let us celebrate the country's birthday today.



Kinensai

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On February 17th, ceremonies called "Kinensai" are held at the sanctuaries of the Imperial Palace and at Shinto shrines throughout the country. Kinensai is a ceremony of praying for a bountiful harvest, for the prosperity of the Imperial Family, and for the stability of the nation. This ceremony forms a set with Niinamesai (the Harvest Festival), a ceremony of giving thanks for the harvest on November 23rd.

According to the episode "Tensonkorin" in ancient Japanese mythology, when Ninigi-no-Mikoto (the grandson of the sun deity Amaterasu Omikami) descended from Takama-no-Hara (the realm where Amaterasu Omikami resides) to Takachiho (in present-day Kyushu), he received from Amaterasu Omikami the Three Sacred Treasures (the Imperial regalia of Japan) and an ear of rice. It can be said that the rice cultivation, which goes back to mythological times, is the base of Japan's nation building and of Japan's culture. In spring, the Emperor sows rice seeds on the rice fields at the Imperial Palace, in early summer he plants the rice seedlings, and in autumn he harvests the rice ears, and offers the harvested rice at the Kannamesai (Ise Jingu's largest harvest festival held on October 17th) and at the Niinamesai at the Imperial Palace. These facts make us aware of the importance of rice cultivation and ceremonies. Given this background, today's ceremony provides an opportunity to remind us of the value of rice cultivation and agriculture as well as of the characteristics of Japan, which have continued since mythological times.

The Kagura (sacred dance) "Urayasu-no-Mai", which is performed during the ceremony, was composed and choreographed in 1940, commemorating the 2600th anniversary of the foundation of Japan. It is based on a poem which Emperor Showa, the last Emperor before the current Emperor, wrote praying for world-wide peace and wishing that nothing disturb the world's tranquility:

To all deities
Of heaven and earth I pray
For a tranquil world
Without disturbances
|Like the sea in the morning.



NiinamesaiiHarvest Ceremonyj
November 23, 10 am

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Yoyogi-no-Mai Takara-bune(sail ship made of vegetables)

In gratitude for a bountiful harvest, vegetables and fruit are piled up in the shape of boats in front of the main shrine building, and a Shinto ceremony is held. During the ceremony, the sacred dance Yoyogi-no-Mai is performed.

Yoyogi-no-Mai
Inspire into what befalls/Through ancient history.
And render clear the many doubts/That puzzle men Today!
(That means developing new ideas based on study of the part.)