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140303-0026 - Gion Matsuri


Kyoto Meiji 1890s Unknown
A festival float is being pulled down a street during Kyoto‘s famed Gion Matsuri, which takes place during July. The festival was started when in 869, Kyoto was suffering from pestilence. By order of Emperor Seiwa (850-880), the people of Kyoto prayed to the god of Yasaka Shrine for deliverance of the disease. For each of the sixty-six provinces of Japan, a decorated halberd was displayed, together with mikoshi (palanquin to carry a god) from the shrine. In later years, if disease broke out again this ritual was repeated. It was made an annual event in 970.

From a series of glass slides published (but not photographed) by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823–1893). Wilson’s firm was one of the largest publishers of photographic prints in the world.
Kjeld Duits Collection CustomsReligious
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George Washington Wilson, Gion Matsuri, Kyoto, Yamaboko, customs, festivals, floats, matsuri, religions, religious, tradition
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