New public-use mikoshi for Kagoshima ‘Ogionsaa’ Festival now on display at Maruya Gardens

PUBLISHED Jul 15, 2022

The Rokuban Mikoshi Aoiren

On July 10, a display of Rokuban Mikoshi Aoiren, the new mikoshi for the general public use, began at the main entrance on the first floor of Maruya Gardens in Kagoshima City. A mikoshi is a sacred religious palanquin in the Shinto faith, and it serves as the vehicle to transport a deity to bless businesses and residents, often carried in festivals.

Kagoshima holds the Gion Festival “Ogionsaa” every summer. The festival features parades of ten mikoshi, four of which are carried by women. The Rokuban Mikoshi is one of the women’s mikoshi and was added in 1998 to allow the general public to experience carrying one. It is the only public-use mikoshi that any woman can participate in and not sponsored by business organizations. In its 24 years of existence, this is the first time a new mikoshi has been built.

The new mikoshi is approximately 175 cm tall, 96 cm wide, and weighs about 200 kg. The carrying pole is 5 meters long, although they are not on display this time. Before the pandemic, 200 women, mainly from the general public as oppose to organization members, carried the mikoshi annually. In recent years, a growing number of participants from outside the prefecture and international students have been taking part in the mikoshi-carrying.

This year, on July 23 and 24, the festival returns for the first time in three years, but instead of participants carrying the mikoshi, they will parade the streets in vehicles.

Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. It will be on display until the 22nd of this month.