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Ofuna-Boko Float of Gion Festival

As many of my readers know, Gion festival (祇園祭り) is divided into two periods: namely 1) Sakimatsuri (前祭り, the first half), and 2) Atomatsuri (後祭り, the latter half). In comparison with Sakimatsuri, Atomatsuri is less crowded and comfortable to walk around.

For the first time in two years, I joined the community of Ofuna-boko (大船鉾, one of the float of Gion Atomatsuri) to help their operation.

Ofuna-boko is a big ship-shaped decorative float, once was in the tail end of the procession until it was destroyed by the fire of Ohnin war (応仁の乱) in the late Edo (江戸) period, and was reconstructed to join the procession only four years ago. The float itself represents the scene of the triumphant return of the empress Jingu (神功皇后) from the war.

As an assistant, I helped selling Chimaki (粽, talisman in the shape of Chimaki rice cake) and good luck charms at the booth underneath the float. I also guided people to get aboard. As a pure Kyoto resident born in the Nishijin (西陣) district, I always loved the animated bustle of the Gion Festival. I felt very happy to be a part of the history of this legendary float which was finally revived by the effort and passion of many people.

Akane Kibune
Kyoto Expert Certificate 1st Grade

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