Naginata-Boko Float of Gion Festival
Hokotate (鉾建て, the assembling work of floats of Gion festival) was launched yesterday.
Among the 33 floats of the festival, the most famous one is the Naginata-boko (長刀鉾). Every year, the magnificence of the float has been enchanting many visitors. As you see in the picture below, Oh-naginata (大長刀, a big pole sword) is set on the top of the roof as Hoko-gashira (鉾頭, the symbol of the float), and it is believed to cut and drive away the illnesses and evils along the streets as it proceeds. The interesting thing is that the Oh-Naginata sword is set with its edge avoiding to face the direction of Yasaka shrine (八坂神社) and Gosho (the Imperial palace).
Gion festival, a spiritual home in every Kyoto resident's heart, is driven by their fervent passion to keep the tradition.
Shijo-Karasuma, Kyoto city bus