Kojimachi, Sanno Shrine Festival (麹町、山王神社祭り)


The Hie Shrine, or Sanno Sama, where the Capital Tokyu Hotel is located, together with Kanda Shrine, were the most popular among the Edo people.  These two shrines alternately held the most spectacular parish festival of the year.


The gilded miskoshi portable shrine was nothing compared to the numerous “gentle moving dashi” carriages.  The latter were also temporary residences of the god-like, but they were personages and things closer to life.  For example, the Sanno had among many others, dashi for Benten the goddess of matrimony, Kasuga Riujin the sea god, the treasure ship of the seven of the seven gods of Fortune, for a whaling junk, a tea whisk, anything that alluded to the occupation or concern of the local inhabitants.


The citizens of each block subscrited money and took care of its “special guest god”.  After each festival they were preserved in special buildings constructed in the yards of its leading citizen. The history of each car and figure were well known and parishioners prided to show them off to the rest of the city.  All friends were invited to open houses properly decorated for the occasion.  Festive food was provided and those with marriageable daughters decked them out with new headresses and kimono that must have cost a tenth of the family’s annual income.  This was the spirit of the Japanese matsuri festival.


More information about the Sanno Matsuri festival