ICU Students Join Osawa Hachiman Shrine's Annual Festival as Portable Shrine Carriers -- Portable Shrine to Be Displayed at ICU Festival
Update: October 17, 2017
About 20 ICU students joined the Osawa Festival of Osawa Hachiman Shrine (Osawa, Mitaka City, Tokyo) as carriers of a portable shrine (mikoshi) on Sunday, October 1. Osawa Hachiman Shrine is located just a minute's walk away from the South Gate of the university.
The portable shrine parade was called off last year in part because of shortage of carriers. This year, however, a campaign to revive the parade started and requests for help went out to various organizations, companies and schools in the Osawa district.
ICU received an inquiry from festival staff regarding inviting ICU students to the festival as portable shrine carriers. The festival staff had read the newspaper article* published in April this year in which Dean of Students Tatsuo Nunoshiba talked about cooperation between students, centering on dorm residents, and local community members. Students on the ICU Festival Committee, which organizes the ICU Festival, played a key role in making the participation possible. Among the carriers from the university were students who enrolled in September and those from Middlebury College in Vermont, United States who are currently studying at ICU. The Osawa Festival provided a lively opportunity for both the students and local residents to mingle together and get to know each other.
*"Making Cooperation with the Local Community a Base for Communication," the Asahi Shimbun, April 29, 2017, p. 24.
(article in Japanese)
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the founding of Osawa Hachiman Shrine as well as a milestone year* for the relocation of the shrine 100 years ago, from the rear of the back gate of today's National Astronomical Observatory of Japan to the current spot, near ICU's South Gate. To celebrate the occasion in such a year when many carriers participated and completed the portable shrine parade without the support of a wagon, the portable shrine will be on display at "Japan Furusato Street," a Japanese-style area that will be provided in two consecutive years at the ICU Festival. This year's festival will take place this weekend (Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22), but the shrine display is scheduled only for Saturday.
Visit us and enjoy the Japanese atmosphere created by torii gate-style decorations and other things on display.
*Hanzawa, Shigekazu. Ōsawa Hachiman Jinja no hensen (Changes of Osawa Hachiman Shrine), pp. 10-12.
The logo for "Japan Furusato Street" at the ICU Festival in the 2017 academic year