Connect with us

Hidden Wonders

Hidden Wonders | Dogs Don Traditional Attire for Special Temple Procession

Twelve dogs from seven families across Japan, dressed in traditional Japanese garb, walked alongside their proud owners at a temple in Nara Prefecture.



Dogs parade through the grounds of Daruma-ji Temple with their owners on April 13, in Oji, Nara Prefecture. (©Sankei by Ikuko Niiyama)

On April 13, a special procession for dogs took place at Daruma-ji Temple in Oji, Nara Prefecture. The event was held to celebrate the 11th anniversary of Yukimaru, the town's beloved dog mascot character. 

Dubbed "Wanwan Chigo Gyoretsu," where "wanwan" is the sound of dogs barking, the event drew inspiration from the traditional Japanese "Chigo Gyoretsu" (children's procession).

Participating dogs take a commemorative photo on the temple grounds. (©Sankei by Ikuko Niiyama)

In Chigo Gyoretsu, children in colorful costumes and makeup parade through the streets while receiving blessings for their health and growth. 

However, this time, the procession was exclusively for dogs. The idea for this event came about when Minako Uemura, a kimono dresser in Oji who designs costumes for Yukimaru, shared her idea with fellow dog lovers on social media.

A total of 12 dogs participated in the inaugural dog procession. (©Sankei by Ikuko Niiyama)

A Special Memory

The procession unfolded as part of the temple's Darumae Shiki festival. It attracted 12 dogs from 7 families across Japan, all decked out in elegant traditional Japanese attire. The dogs strolled around the temple grounds alongside their proud owners. Visitors were delighted to capture snapshots of these charming canines. 

Shukei Hino, the head priest of Daruma-ji Temple, with two Golden Retrievers. (©Sankei by Ikuko Niiyama)

Among the participants was Akira Tajima, an agricultural worker from Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture. He joined the event with his two Toy Poodles and two Border Collies. Reflecting on the experience, he expressed, "I am very pleased to have been able to participate with my dogs in this traditional event. It has become a special memory." 

A Border Collie in a traditional Japanese-style costume. (©Sankei by Ikuko Niiyama)

Shukei Hino, the head priest of Daruma-ji Temple, also shared his thoughts. He stated, "Many people visit the temple for Shichi-Go-San with their dogs. This was our inaugural attempt [at a dog procession], and we aspire to continue this tradition in the future." 

Shichi-Go-San is an age-old Japanese festival for three- and seven-year-old girls and five-year-old boys. It is observed annually on November 15.

A Golden Retriever wearing a hakama. (©Sankei by Ikuko Niiyama)


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun