Shiokake Matsuri

(Seawater Pouring Festival)

Wagu Oshima

Shima City

June 1st (Old Calendar)

Shiokake Matsuri is a festival to celebrate the return home of the goddess of maritime safety, Ichikishimahimenomikoto, from Yakumo Shrine in Wagu where she is usually enshrined, to her home at her associated Ooshima Shrine, in Wagu Oshima. This festival has continued since the beginning of the Kamakura Period (circa 1219 - 1222). At the start of the festival, the Mandobune (10,000-fold boat) transfers the Mandofuda (Mando talisman) received from Ise Jingu, to Ooshima Shrine in Ooshima. Abalone, top snails and bonito, caught by ama and fishermen that morning, are offered with prayers for maritime safety and a big catch. After prayers, the local Shinto priest and the high priest from Ise Jingu board the Mandobune and depart toward the mainland. Then, others on boats use buckets, scoops and now hoses, to splash each other with seawater. Thus, the festival is called 'Seawater Pouring Festival. It is said that the first boat that splashes seawater on the Mandobune will be blessed with big catches.