Sep 252012
 
Dazaifu Tenjin Matsuri

Sugawara Michizane was a prominent poet and politician in 9-th century Japan. Due to intrigues by rival Fujiwara clan, he was demoted of his court rank by the Emperor and appointed a minor post in Dazaifu on Kyushu.

In October, in Dazaifu, a festival commemorating Sugawara takes place.

Sep 232012
 
Hounou Taiko at Dazaifu Tenjin Matsuri

Hounou (奉納) means “offering” or “sacrifice” in Japanese. Most shrines and temples have lanterns, sculptures, or torii gates that were funded by followers.

Offerings do not have to be material, however. Artists and artisans often present their skill during religious festivals.

In 2010, on the premises of Dazaifu Tenman-gu Shrine, we could see a kagura ritual dance, shishi-mai—lion’s dance, and a spectacular taiko (Japanese drum) concert.