- JAPAN IN FOCUS
Shrine in Yamagata Pref. Celebrates Clean Air
14:20 JST, June 5, 2023
ASAHI, Yamagata — The annual Air Festival got off the ground at Kuki Shrine in Asahi, Yamagata Prefecture, on June 3.
Visitors to the shrine, which is dedicated to the deity of air, were allowed access to the main shrine located about 3 meters underground during the festival through June 5.
Kuki Shrine, which was built by volunteers, stands as a symbol of gratitude and reverence for the area’s clean air. The Asahi town government designated June 5 as “Asahi Town Air Day,” which falls on the same day as the U.N.’s World Environment Day. The Air Festival takes place during this period.
On the grounds of the shrine, a 5-meter-by-5-meter square stainless steel reflective platform adds to the ambiance, as it reflects the sky and surrounding trees.
During the June 3 ceremony, visitors were accompanied by the town’s unofficial mascot, Momoiro Usahi, and performed the rituals of bowing twice, clapping four times and raising both their arms widely as they deeply inhaled. During the festival, seven local elementary school students dressed as shrine maidens performed a ceremonial dance on the stainless steel platform for the first time in four years.
“I was happy to perform the dance while being surrounded by nature and clean air,” said a 12-year-old elementary school student.
"FEATURES" POPULAR ARTICLE
Autumn in Full Swing in Kyoto
Kintetsu Dept Store, Fujiya Open New Pekolicious Sweets Shop in Osaka
Nagasaki: Mom, Young Daughter Help Keep Mask-changing Chinese Art Alive
Millennium-Old Traditional ‘Naked Festival’ to Be Held for Last Time Next February at Iwate Pref. Temple
Illuminations Brighten Up Events, Buildings and Roadside Trees in Central Tokyo
JN ACCESS RANKING
- Exports of Nishikigoi Carp to China Halted; Permits for Japanese Aquaculture Facilities By China Have Expired
- Japan April-Sept. Current Account Surplus Hits Record High
- AI-generated Child Porn Floods Japan-based Website (Update 1)
- Bears Sighted in Tokyo Suburbs, Including near Mt. Takao (Update 1)
- BOJ Member Sought Tweak in Easing