From ancient times, horses, especially white horses, were highly revered in Japan, and it was believed that sometimes kami arrived on horseback.
The parade of floats are famous, but decidedly secondary to the evening processions that take Yasaka Shrine’s three deities into the city for a one-week stay.
The Gion Matsuri story crosses many cultural lines. Was Muto-shin really Susanoo-no-Mikoto or a Korean god? And in which country did the Shorai brothers live?
Seen during the Gion Matsuri, many Kyotoites to this day still paste such charms outside their doors, proclaiming that they are descendants of Somin Shorai.
The history of the kami honored at the Gion Festival have intriguing parallels - and differences. The Yasaka Shrine claims they are the same, but are...