Tashiro Dai Nenbutsu Kembai

Miyako City, Iwate

The origin of this kembai is said to trace back to 300 years ago, when people in this area danced in front of Miyako magistrate office as a prayer for the victims of a great starvation. Having become a vital tradition, the dancers nowadays go around houses to pray for the recently departed, and to Eiko-ji temple and Kyusho-ji temple in Tashiro community to appease the souls of ancestors on 16th of August every year. When they visit a house, they hold a ritual called segaki ogami; they face to ihai (Buddhist mortuary tablet) and chant Buddhist sutra, waving the fan vertically. Since 1966, they also give classes to children at Kigaku Elementary School to maintain the tradition.