Culture

Nagoshi-don

Every summer in the coastal village of Kishira in Kimotsuki Town there is a Shinto ceremony called “Nagoshi-don” or “the passing of the summer festival” in local dialect. It is rather rare and unusual because it is performed on the beach instead of at the Shrine.

During the ceremony, three gods or spirits of Hirata Shrine in Kishira are first transferred to the three divine masks which are kept at the Shrine. Those masks are then carried to the beach for the ceremony.

With those masks standing at the beachfront, various dances are dedicated to the ocean god for protecting the local people from disasters and bringing happiness to them. In the old days, more than half a dozen dances were performed throughout the night, but today only a handful are performed in the afternoon due to lack of dancers.

After the dances, spectators are invited to walk through the straw ropes a couple of times. The ropes are tied to the four wooden bars which make a square-shaped open space on the beach to dispel the evil spirits.