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KEMARI in Shimogamo Shrine

On January 4th, Shimogomo shrine (下鴨神社) holds Kemari (蹴鞠, football game played among courtiers in ancient Japan) event annually.

The origin of Kemari is traced back to the period when Buddhism was introduced to Japan. Today, in Shimogamo shrine, shinto (神道) priests dressed up in the Heian (平安) noblemen’s costumes, such as Suikan (水干, everyday garment worn by nobles in ancient Japan) along with Hakama (袴, divided skirt), and Eboshi (烏帽子, headgear worn by nobles with court dress ), play Kemari chasing a white ball made of deerskin (please refer to the picture below).

The point of Kemari is not to drop the ball on the ground. The players have to consider how to pass the ball so that the receiver can easily pass the ball to the next, and their movements are so graceful.

In Kyoto, so many traditional activities are held throughout the year. Please come see the Heian world in YUMEYAKATA Kimono. That will bring you a lot of fun.

Shimogamo Shrine:

3 mins. on foot from Shimogamo Jinja Mae, Kyoto city bus


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