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Amaterasu-Omikami (the Sun Goddess)

The enshrined deity of Shinra Shrine as well as the chief god enshrined in Hachinohe Shinmei-gu Shrine.
Amaterasu-Omikami appears in the Japanese mythology, and is deemed as the ancestor of the Imperial Family of Japan and the universal tutelary god of the entire nation.
The divine couple, Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto gave birth to the Japanese islands and raised everything, including their last three venerable descendants, Amaterasu-Omikami, Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto, and Susano-no-mikoto.
Ise Jin-gu (Ise Grand Shrine) is dedicated to Amaterasu-Omikami.

Ame-no-koyane-no-mikoto = Kasuga Daimyojin = Omoikane-no-kami

Enshrined deity in Hachinohe Shinmei-gu Shrine, who appears in the Japanese mythology called Kasuga Gongen and Kasuga Daimyojin as well.
A child of Kogoto musubi-no-mikoto and a husband of Ama-no-mitsu tamateruhime-no-mikoto.
During Iwato-gakure (the hiding the sun goddess Amaterasu-Omikami herself in a celestial rock cave), he recites norito (a prayer) in front of the cave, and hands in a mirror with Futodama-no-mikoto deity, trying to intrigue with it and coax her out of the cave when the door of the cave is slightly opened.
During Tenron-korin (the descent to earth of the grandson of Amaterasu-Omikami), he accompanied Ninigi-no-mikoto (god who was sent to settle the ground of Japan).
In the Kojiki (a historical record), he came to be regarded as the ancestor of the Nakatomi Clan.
A part of his name ‘koyane’ means ‘a roof of a small building’, therefore it is thought to be the location of a deity who gives an oracle.

Atago(Chojasan Sanshado, present-day Shinra Shrine)

Atago Gongen is a god enshrined in Sanshado Hall, present-day Chojasan-Shinra Shrine in Hachinohe.
To be exact, Atago Gongen is a title in a syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism, of which theory was created in a fusion of mountain worship in Mt. Atago and Shugendō (Japanese mountain asceticism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts).
The honjibutsu (original Buddhist divinity) of the god Atago Gongen is regarded as Jizo Bosatsu (Jizo Bodhisattva), which chooses to appear to the Japanese to be a deity (Suijakushin) Izanami. / In regards to the god Atago Gongen, Jizo Bosatsu (Jizo Bodhisattva) is a noumenon (named honjibutsu) and a deity Izanami is a manifestation (named Suijakushin).
Atago Gongen had been worshipped by warrior class as the god of war as a manifestation of Shogun Jizo Bosatsu.


A person attired in Kamishimo (old ceremonial dress for men) on horseback in the rear of the procession of Hachinohe Sansha Taisai.


Battari ,Battan , Pataran

The mechanical background which rises up in the rear of a float .
Originally cherry blossoms , colord autmn leaves were main subjects , nowadays rocks , falls , and decorative backgrounds have come to be added . It sems to be that the origin is Donden Sannohe floats . 


A doll of a float for Sansha Taisai . The possessor : Notoya Choemon who lived in Mikkamach (an area in downtown of Hachinohe ) Nakai Mansaku , in Jusannichimachi ( the same )
Correctly Musashibo Benkei , was a warrior monk in the late Heian Era .
A retainer of Minamoto no Yoshitsune (a popular nobleman and military commander who is still popular among Japanese). It is said thtat after the encounter with Yoshitsune on the Gojo-Ohashi Bridge Benkei served Yoshitsune loyally to the end . Very famous as a man of great strengh and roughness .


In Hachinoe , (Bettoo-Sama , Betto-Sama )
An official leader of a shrine or a temple (especially shrine ) to administer a shrine .Guji .
The secretary who was placed at some special agencies or houses such as the Houses of Prince , Regent houses , Minister houses , shrines and temples from the Heian Era to the Edo Era .Particularly means the Secretary of Kebiishi-Cho ( the public procecutor '' s office in those days )


One kind of the materials for float ''s themes .
Buddhist tales , such as about hotoke (buddha ) , Shaka (Buddha ) , Nyorai (Tathagata . Equal to buddha ) , Myoo ( Wisdom King . An incarnation of Buddha ) , Bosatsu (Bodhisattova . Attendant of buddhas who saves human beings before reaching enlightment .)



In Edo-era each town or street had its own symbol, which looks like KASA-HOKO, showing the pride of the town or street.
Example 1 : RONGUI a dragon on a tortoise has a treasure bead on the top of its head
Example 2 : SEIRYU^-ENGETU-TO^ is the sword KAN-U UNCHO^ a heroic warrior of the Chinese Three Dynasty Era

Cho^jasan sinrajinja

It is the JINJA shrine which is located on the top of Mt. CHOUJA , HATINOHE city, AOMORIKEN.
It’s well known for for HATINOHE SANSHATAISAI Festival as An Impotant Intangible Folk Cultural Property, and for Enburi a farmers’ dance and worship. Mt. CHOJA-SAN, whose main deities are SUSANO-NO-MIKOTOand SHINRA SABURO MINAMOTO-NO-YOSIMITU-NO-MIKOTO, has had a lot of functions such as enshrining, prayers and worship. NANBU -NAOFUSA, the first lord of HATINOHE-HAN clan welcomed KOKU^ZO BOSATU, and the second lord NANBU NAOMASA set the chapel ‘GION’ , in 1678 , 6 ENPO, which later became SANSHADO or KOKUZODO –chapel in order to pray for the safety and rich harvest.
Since then, the lords worshiped SINRA-JINJA shrine as ‘genius’ of HATINOHE-HAN –O^NAN.
In 1694, 7 of GENROKU period, the shrine was reconstructed ,and then the 8th lord NOBUMASA reconstructed it again, which is now the shrine in presence. Then the race track of riding ground was preparedin the cherry blossoms and KIBA-DAKYU^, riding -horse batting game was dedicated on the annual festival day.
At the early Meiji Era, the national government proclaimed the Edict for Separation of Shintoism and Buddhism. In 1869, 2 of Meiji they changed the denomination of the shrine into “ SHINRA-JINJA ”and joined the powerful shrines.
In1881, Meiji 14, when the Emperor Meiji visited HATINOHE in the case of TOHOKU region visit, they dedicated the horse-riding game to Emperor. Later SINRAJINJA shrine promoted to the prefectural shrine and changed its name into ‘CHOJASAN SINRAJINJA ’.


It is the sacred ceremony on the first day of constructing houses by carpenters. It’s also the opening ceremony of building floats, and praying for the safety of building.
CHONA is also called TE-ONO, and the tool of wood-work.
AZZU is the same kind of this tool. In Europe in the Stone Age these froes were used, and in West Asia about 5,000 B.C.
In Japan those ones that were brought in from China and Korea in Yayoi era belong to them.



It is one type of the lion dances. They walk at the head of the procession of each shrine-float.
Two guides walk at the head of the procession, wearing a red lion head, holding a bunch of paper strips of 5 colors, and children follow to each to hold its cloths. A drum, flutes, and pairs of metal instrument like a castanet follow them.

Dashi no yottsuno ruikei : (4 types of floats )

Many of floats of Sansha Taisai features folk tales and kabuki stories . According to the subjects and scene , there 4 types as the photos show . Although some of the modern floats show conbination of these types, it should be interesting to think which the original type is .
Iwadashi (lit.rock float )・・・Black rocky stretch decorated with pine and colored maple trees , painted picture of waterfalls . Showa 37 "Miyamoto Musashi ( the historic great swordsman ) (Motokajicho)
Namidashi (lit. wave float )・・・The scene of the sea in which .a ship in the center is surrounded by waves . Showa 57 "Kinokuniya Bunzaemon ( Powerful merchant from the Edo era who is famous for the navigation on his merchant ship ) .
Tatemonodashi ・・・(lit. building float )Big gate or a part of a castle is put in the center .Showa 54 "Musashibo Benkei"(Shinaramachi)
Korandashi ・・・(lit. parapet float ) a float surrounded by red parapet with the rear part higher by a step , sides are decorated with nokihana (drooping artificial flower objects ) Showa 35 "Kurodabushi ( Samurai of Kuroda domain ) (Shinaramachi)


It is the general name of floats, which people draw or lift on their shoulder. They are usually, gorgeously decorated with figures and flowers. Its naming and styles depend on each district and called HIKIYAMA mountain-drawing, MATURI-YADAI festival-stall. At the events of SINKO^SAI festival and so on, the float goes around the streets in a procession.
To be exact, the images which imitate mountains or set trees on it are usually classified as mountains, and the drawn ones the festival-stall.


This is the cognomen that the late Mr. SHOBUKE-TANEYASU a local historian and former HATINOHE Museum keeper gave to Mr. NATUSAKA-KAZUYOSI as an expert painter for Painting floats. Now he is the only one painter with this cognomen


It is the finished picture that only the float painter can paint. The late Shobuke Taneyasu the local historian dominated the painter ’the float painter’ as a cognomen in1983, 58 of Showa. Now-a-days there are no painter with the cognomen.  


It is a group of town dwellers making floats. Now there are 27 auxiliary floats which take part in SANSHATAISAI Festival.


This is the cognomen that the late Mr.Shoubuke-Taneyasu , a local historian and former HATINOHE Museum keeper gave to the late Ruike-Takasi as an expert for making floats.
Now no other person has this cognomen.

Dasigyouretu junjo

It’s the procession order of festival-floats.
Sinmegu shrine ・・・The order is decided as below.
Ogami-jinja shrine ・・・The order is decided by a lot.
Sinra-jinja shrine ・・・The order is decided by the way of rotation as below.
Hatinohe-kyousinkai→Nukazuka→Nagayokocho→Muika-mati→Ruike→Ju^rokuniti-mati→Kajicho→Hatinohe-shi-officer-gojokai a Mutual -AidSociety→Fukiage
As they take a rotation way, Fukiage will be at the head of the procession of Sinrajinja Group floats next year, and Hatinohe-kyousinkai will be at the end of the line.


It is one of the float subjects.
For example, they are O^EYAMA SHUDO^JI a heavy drinker living on O^IYAMA mountain, and TAWARAYA TO^TA, a warrior who destroyed a centipede, and RAJO^MON the gate of RAJO castle and so forth.


One genre of themes for floats.
Fairy tale. Momo-Taro (Peach Boy), Kaguya-Hime ( Princess Kaguya ) , Issun-BŌshi , ( One- Inch Boy ) etc.



A dashi ningyo (figure set on a festive float) in the shape of Ebisu (the god of wealth) in Sansha Taisai. Ebisu doll was owned by Asakichi Furuya, one of the influential merchants in charge of the festival operation. Later, a float with Ebisu on it became a symbol of the town. A Japanese indigenous god Ebisu is one of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune. Ebisu typically wears a kariginu (informal dress for a court noble originally worn as hunting costume), holds a fishing rod, and carries a sea bream under his left arm.


Edakko is a kind of street performance, conducted by members of each float-making group, and is originally accompanied by a float. It shows a scene of several people of singers, flutist, and so on in a body walking through a narrow path.

Egami = design

A blueprint (design / final drawing) of a float which will be made in the year.


An active onnagata (female-role kabuki actor) from Hachinohe City.
Performs a heroine in the Super Kabuki.
Therefore, many dashi (float)-constructing groups tend to choose the Super Kabuki as subjects of the floats, which added an absolute gorgeousness on the floats.
Crowns, attires, and ornamental hairpins of dolls on the floats are extremely luxurious


One of the Japanese eras (1744~1747) before the Kannen and after the Kanpo Eras.
It was during the reign of Emperor Sakuramachi and Emperor Oen.
The Shoguns of Edo Shogunate at that time were Yoshimune and Ieshige Tokugawa.


Twelve frags with embroideries of patterns of twelve signs of Chinese zodiac.



In the Sansha Taisai Festival , shinobue (Japanese flute for traditional music ) is used..
Shinobue・・・There are two styles of Shinobue . One is for Ohayashi which is festival music (classial type ), the other is for Uta , traditional song and folk song . The Ohayashi has evenly spaced , same size of holes for easy play .
Choshi of Fue (Pitch ) ・・・There are some kinds from Ichihon-Choshi to Jyunihon-Choshi . For easy recognition , the choshi number is written at the top . Choshi varies from one district to another .


Otherwise: (Saishu)=A person who presides over a rituals .
Fuku-Saishu is a person who assisits the second Saishu .


The whole float is made as a ship . A scene on the ship


Tradition says that dance groups of geisha girls had been joinning the procession since Bunsei 10 . Two groups from Minato area , two from Same seem to have joined .
The procession of Kanabo-Hiki ( iron stick bearer ) , Odori-Ko ( dancer ) Taiko ( drum ) , and Shamisen ( banjo-like lute with three strings ) . Currently no participation .



Float-making was originally conducted by fire-companies by units. The members of the fire-related associations mainly called veterans who had made floats Genro-sama.

Go sinme

Gosinme is the horse on which the deity rides and is regarded as a sacred one. It is dedicated toJapanese Shinto shrines or used for deities to ride on in the festivals. Generally, white horses are regarded as "go-sinme" the deity''s horse, though any horse can be it.

Gongen-sama, the deity of lion head

・It is originally one of the pseudonymous of god. It means the Shinto deities appear as the figures of Buddha and Buddhist saints. It is based on the thought of "honji- suijaku-setu ". The kanji character 権 means "temporary" or "pied-a-terre".
・Historically, Buddhist trainers of Kumano who vividly worked in Tohoku area worshipped the lion- head as the god tried to spread about its faith across Tohoku area by dancing with the long head and prayers for protection from evil and fire, and the health and longevity of the family.
・In Hachinohe, Horyou kagura and other kaguras use it for their dancing and prayers. In Sansha Taisai Festival, "hauti " teeth- hitting is excellent and famous.

Guji (Miyatsukasa)

A head of a shrine who directs shrine priests and maidens. Shinshoku (Shinto priesthood) is a ranking of position (official title).


Hachinohe Naoyoshi

Hachinohe-shi was a fa,ilyof Nanbu clan , samurai family of Morioka han ( A feudal domain located to the South of Hachinohe han. )
This family was one of the Seiwa Genji , descended from the Kai-Nanbu family that was collateral of Kawachi- Genji . As they based at Nejo castle in Hachinohe , they are also called Nejo- Nanbu-shi , or Hachinohe- Nanbu-shi , being transfered to Tono ( Tono city , Iwate prefecture ) in the Edo era,
also called as Tono Nanbu-shi .
Hachinohe Naoyoshi Feburary 5 , 1602- January 30 1675
Another name is Masayoshi Sado Shorokuro . Son- in-law of Hachinohe Nene ,who was the 21th head of the Hachinohe family .
Father : Nitta Masahiro
Foster mother : Hachinohe Nene
Mother : Daughter of Kogarumai Yukitoshi
Wife : Daughter of Hachinohe Naomasa ( and Hachinohe Nene )
the 22nd head of the Mutsunokuni Nejo- Nanbu Hachinohe family .

Hachinohe Santana

The privileged merchants in Hachinohe han . Three merchant families that represented Hachinohe .
They had their own dolls to put on floats of Sansha Taisai festival .
Omiya , Otsukaya , Minoya .

Hachinohe Shinmei-gu Shrine

Located in Nijurokunichimachi .
In times of Kunohe-no-ran (The revolt of Kunohe Masazane) , Tensho 19 (1591),
relocated to Kinhamamura , Sannohe Gun (the current Kanehama , Hachinohe City ) , by Mitamura Shiro, a vassal of Masazane.
And then transfered to Ima-machi , Niida-mura , Nkaibayashi-mura .From propagation and reenshrinement to this time , details are unknown.
In Kanbun 9 (1669) , Nanbu Naomasa , having had faith in this shrine , built the hall on the Chojya-san to transfer . The main god enshrined is Amaterasu ōmikami ( goddes of the Sun , highest of all the gods in Takamanohara (the Plain of High Heaven ) .The annual festival is held on October 16 .
In Hoei 6 (1709 ), Toyouke ōkami , Hachiman ōkami ( the 15th Ōjin Tennō ) and Kasuga-daijin were invited to be enshrined together to the present location .

Hachinohe han

Hachinohe han was Nanbu clan ''s feudal domain whose government office was in Mutsunokuni Hachinohe ( Hachinohe city , Aomori prefecture in modern time ).

Hachinohe han metsukeokoro nikki

The intimate records of festivals .
From arrangements to completion of celebration in General shrine Horyo-sha

Hana Yatai ( Kenban Yatai )

Bunsei 1 , (1819) Yatai Geisha Kuruma-hiki (lit. Pulling float with Geisya girls on , origin of the current Hana -Yatai ) joined the procession of portable shrine . It is said that as the float which Geisha girls of flourished pleasure quarters Konakano district and Same district ride , it had been joining the festival since Bunsei period .
Afterwards , days when the float didn'' t join the festival went on long under the impact of the Pacific War or decrease of Geishas . In Heisei period ( to be accurate in 1997 ) was revived by Japanese dance masters or mistresses in Hachinohe city .
In old days , they used to parade at the tail of the procession or to perform various dances and music to get some money at doors , at present bring up the rear of floats they perform Hachinohe Kouta (a short traditional music-like song made to promote tourism in Hachinohe ) .


A hat decorated with flowers , worn especially by children .
A festival hat occasionally worn by adults . In the past , flowers were made of hard wood . At the present day they are made of plastic .


A kind of Kimono , simplified Haori ( Haori is Japanese half-coat ) short overgarment . Matching Hantens of a float group .


A kind of mechanism of floats .
Drawer-type pf stage structures which are put in in the center , left or right side .


"Hi " means a spirit , "Morogi means a hedge . This word is thought to mean "A hedge to protect a deity " . They used to plant evergreens around an object such as a mountain , forest , and old tree which was possessed by a deity to make a hedge that a deity settles in. Afterwards ,the word referred evergreens erected in the room or garden .

Hondawake no mikoto : Hachiman-sama, Emperor Ojin

Enshrined deity of Chojasan Shinra Shrine . The 15th emperor of Japan . According to tradition his father was the Emperor Chuai and mother was Okinagatarashihime , known as the Empress Jingu . In returning homeward from advance on Korea , she gave birth to Hondawake on the beach Chikushi (the present Kyushu district , southern Japan ).

Horyo Daimyojin

In the Kamakura Era , a yamabushi (mountain ascetic monk . ) named Horyo who was the seventh generation of the Sakamoto family which still serves as the house of Shinto priest practiced austerities at Kumano region ( the Mecca of Kumano Shugendo Buddhism . Shugendo is Japanese mountain asceticism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts ) and Shogo-in temple ( the main temple of Honzan Shugen shu sect ) . After that , he preached around from Tohoku district to Aomori Prefecture to come back to Hachinohe . The legend of the present Ogami Shrine started from this return of him . Tradition says that when Horyo , who was an excellent practician of prayer for rain came to Hachinohe , lasting drought had been a serious influence to the growth of crops . The farmers requested Horyo for rain . Although he hazarded his life in praying , couldn''t call rain . Feeling sorrowful , Hpryo threw himself into a pond in the precincts of Misaki shrine to wish for the rain in exchange for his life . At once his soul changed into a dragon and flew high up in the sky . Suddenly it got cloudy and dark , started raining .
It is said that giving thanks to the religious virtues of him heartily , people enshrined Horyo''s soul together with other deities to worshiped him as Horyo Daimyojin , a guardian deity of agriculture , rich harvest , fall rain , fine weather .
As records of Horyo''s activities as a mountain ascetic monk had been left in Shogo-in temple ( the main temple of mountain ascetic monks ) , Tohoku district is spotted with places named Horyo Those places are assumed to be the places where Horyo preached . In the Edo era , Horyosha was reestablished by Morioka domain , highly revered by Morioka Nannbu and Hachinohe Nannbu clan, transfered to the core of Hachinohe Castle as a guardian deity of the castle .
After that , in Manji 1 (1658) Nanbu Shigenao , the 2nd feudal lord of Nanbu domain , donated 20 koku ( koku was an old unit of rice ) in equal to enough rice to feed 20 person for a year . With the formation of Hachinohe domain in Kanbun 4 (1664) , Horyo Daimyojin was transfered from the core region of the castle to the present place , got expansion of the shrine and was worshiped as the guardian deity of Hachinohe domain, became the General shrine .
In Kyoho 5 (1720) , the middle of the Edo era , a prayer was offered for the rich harvest . In appreciation of grunted prayer the following year, Kyoho 6 (1721) a ritual of Horyosha portable shrine procession was held from Horyosha to Chojasan Kokuzodo (the present Chojasan Shinra Shrine ) and two days later back to Horyosha . This ritual was the origin of Hachinohe Sansha Taisai . During Hachinohe domain period , having had been in Nino-maru (outside layer to the core castle ) as the prayer shrine for feudal lord , commoners couldn''t visit Horyosha , but on the occasion of the festival ( the present Hachinohe Sansha Taisai ) commoners were allowed to visit the shrine only betwween 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Horyo Kagura

A kind of Kagura : Shrine music and dance created by Buddhist monks of a sect of mountain ascetics Horyo kagura has been passed down at Ogami Shrine where Horyo-sama , a Yamabushi monk is enshrined. Issei -hauchi ( lit. the teeth clatter as one ) , the central element of the music that involves dozens of dancers wearing lion masks which personify the deity Gongen-sama which they move in a precisely timed order and rhythm cleanses the heart of spectators . In the Hachinoe Sansha Taisai the musicians and dancers participate in the procession of Ogami shrine , spectators can also enjoy various Kagura techniques of monks in Horyo Kagura Festival which is held at Ogami shrine on the second Saturday and the following day of May .
Although mainly danced by male , female dancers have been active since Heisei 11.


Hotei is a doll of a float for Sansha Taisai . It was a symbol of Muikamachi (downtown of Hachinoe ) which Ishiya Heishichi had join the procession.
Hotei is a legendary monk who is thought to have existed in Mei-shu ( Ming zhou ) , the present zhejiang Province , China at the end of Tang Dynasty .
Being one of the popular subjects of black ink paintings , expressed as a paunchy Buddhist monk with a large cloth bag on his back. In Japan , Hotei is worshiped as one of the Seven Deities of good fortune .


The name of the leader of Horyosha Ymabushi ( mountain ascetic monk ). Changed name to Sakamoto Iwami . In the procession , he is wearing a head gear , yellow monk''s robe , a long sword and short sword.


Iwa Dashi (Rock-shaped float)

Bases of floats in the parade are in the shape of rocks and mountains, decorated with pines and red leaves, and figures are placed on them.



It’s the local float subject. There are a lot of subjects for float. For example, they are Nanso-bo priest, Hatino-taro, Kabushima-Benzaiten goddess, and Hachinohe Taro, and so on.

Jingu^ kougou to Takenouchino sukune

The Empress JINGU^ is the statue of float figure of SANSHA-TAISAI Festival by MINOYA- SOUSHICHIROU with CHOU- JIRUSI the town- emblem. She was a honorable and brave Empress.
She bacame the empress of CHUAI TENNOU Emperor at the 40th year of the Emperor SEIMU- reign, and it was April 17, 69.
・She was OKINATARASI-HIMENO-MIKOTO in NIHON-SHOKI Japan-history book..
・She was OKINAGATARASI-HIMENO-MIKOTO in KOJIKI the oldest history of Japan.
TAKANUKAHIME, and was mother of Emperor OUJIN and is called ''A Holy Mother''. Her younger brother was OKINAHIKONO-MIKO and her younger sisterwas SORATUHIMENOMIKO- TOYOHIME. The Empress JINGU^ is well-known by the episode that she was a great commamder at SANKAN-SEIBATU battle.
TAKEUTINO-SUKUNE showed himself in the EmperorKEIKOU reign and was a great historical person as an ancient Japanese. SUKUNE is a cognomen given by the Emperor, which meant a brave and thoughtful SUKUNE.
He is a famous loyalist on legend , who served five prominant emperors of KEIKO, SEIMU, CHUAI, OUJIN , and NINTOKU.
It''s also said that he was the ancestor of the central family compact such as KIU-JI, KOSEI-UJI, HEGURI-UJI, KAZURAKI-UJI, SOGA-UJI, etc.
When the 14th Emperor CHUAI, the 2nd child of YAMATOTAKERUNO-MIKOTO, made a tour of inspection to the southern HOKKAIDO and stayed there, he got a news that KUMASO-tribe in KYUSHU^ made a rebellion. He sailed out to crush the rebellions and met his Empress. Then she became enthusiastic and heard deity''s words that they should crush SHIRAGI in Korea instead of KUMASO. But the Emperor didn''t believe the deity''s words, and passed away without following the deity''s words. So the Emoress attacked SHIRAGI with the help of her minister TAKEUTI-SUKUNE. And Empress JINGU^KOGO made the nation of SHIRAGI obey her. Onthe way home, she gave birth to the 15th Emperor OUJIN.
These three statues of Empress GINGU-KO^ GO, the Emperor OUJIN the baby, and TAKEUCHINO-SUKUNE are the typical float-figures in Japanese festivals.


It’s one of the float subjects. It’s the float of festival-deity such as TIKUBU-SHIMA and SHINRA-JINJA shrine and so on.

Jiro-Tomitsu KAGAMI

A military commander lived from the late Heian Period to the early Kamakura Period.
The fourth son of Kiyomitsu MINAMOTO, as well as a grandchild of Yoshimitsu MINAMOTO who is said to be the ancestor of Kai-Genji (Kai-Minamoto Clan).
The founder of Kagami Clan. Became a younger brother (or an uncle) of the founder of the Takeda Clan, Nobuyoshi TAKEDA. His original fief was Kagami-no-sho (manor) dotted in a tract of Kagamikyo village, Koma county, Kai Province.


It’s the Imperial standard. It’s originally the ensign, NISHIKI-HATA. It means the separation of the sun and the moon, and is the origin of thoughts of ONMYOUDO


Joseiin is the leader of all Shinto priests of CHOJA SAN-SANSHADO shrine. It governed the ceremony of sacred matters of people as the head of shinto shrines, HONZANHA-sect. CHOJASAN-SANSHADO( SINRA –shrine, later) did this as HOZENIN does.
The habitation of the shrine priest was at the foot of Choja-san.

Juyo-mukei-minzoku-bunkazai no shitei:Designation of Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property

The current Sansha Taisai, keeping old tradition of proscession route and folk performing arts , together with elaborate 27 floats which feature folk tales and kabuki characters to be built every year as "Tsukematsuri"(a side show to the festival ), give people surprising impression .
As the result of the investigations of its long history and change in Feburary of Heisei 16 designated as "Hachinohe Sansha Taisai no Dashigyoji " , Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property



A kind of subject for making a float.
Kabuki is a Japanese original theatrical art and one of the traditional entertainments designated as an important intangible cultural asset. UNESCO declared Kabuki as a masterpiece in 2005.

Kabuki Buyo

A kind of subject for making a float.
A dance during a play in a program of Kabuki, or something to be independent.


Members of Dashi-gumi (float-owing group) and performers of Kagura (Kagura, written with characters meaning "god music", is one of the oldest of Japanese performing arts involving ritual means of communicating with or praying to the gods), Toramai (the tiger dance), and Komaodori (the horse dance) visit local stores and houses to receive gifts.
Dashi-gumi chants a Kiyari song that are sung during the hauling of lumbers, and a festival music. Others give performances.

Kaen Dashi

A float depicting a scene of being entirely wrapped by flames.


‘Kagami-Style Kiba Dakyu’ (ancient Japanese polo) was established by Jiro-Tomitsu KAGAMI, a remote ancestor of the Nanbu Clan. Dakyu is played both on foot and on horseback, etc.

Kaichu Dashi

A float depicting a scene in the ocean, entirely decorated with konbu seaweed and corals.
Sometimes attached on the float as a backdrop is a distant view of the imaginary Palace of the Dragon King.

Kaiten (a revolving stage)

As a kind of mechanism of floats, a stage can slide forward and sideways.
It can correctly be said as a revolving stage (which rotate horizontally).

Kakegoe (A call to encourage activity)

Kiyari-ondo song makes a chance for festive floats for moving and a cheery chant made by the people pulling the floats increasingly enlivens the atmosphere of the event.
At present, calls vary due to town associations.
Call (1): A call made between Kiyari-ondo songs;
‘Yoi korewainose’ (It originally appears to be ‘Yoi, koreoiwainose)’
Call (2): A call is superposed at the end of Kiyari-ondo song;
‘Yoi, yoi, yoisa, yoisa, yoisanose, atsu-yare, yare, yare, yare’
Call (3): A call is put while pulling a float;
①’Yoisa, yoisa, yoisa, yoisa, atsu-yare, yare, yare, yare’
(or ‘Yoessa, yoisa, yoessa, yoisa, atsu-yare, yare, yare, yare’)
②Yare, yare, yare, yare, mohitotsu omakeni (in the past; mohitotsu omakete), yare, yare, yare, yare.

Kanu (Guan Yu)

A doll of Guan Yu was attached on a float in Sansha Taisai, owned by Denuemon TANEYA and Zenpachi WAKASAYA of Muika-machi town associations.
Kanu (Guan Yu), courtesy name Kanu Uncho (Yunchang) (162-219), was a general of Shu Han in the late Han Dynasty in the Three Kingdom Period of Chinese history.
Being one of the most popular generals appeared in the historical novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, Guan Yu has been deified and called “Lord Guan (Guangong)”by future generations as he prized justice.
Worshipped in Chinatowns all over the world as a god of business.
Famous for his making a vow as sworn brothers with Ryubi (Liu Bei) and Chohi (Zhang Fei) in Sangokushi (annals of the Three Kingdoms).
Wielded a legendary weapon, Engetsuto (The Green Dragon Crescent Blade) while riding on Sekitoba (the Red Hare).

Karakuri (Mechanism)

The purpose of many mechanisms used in a float today is to make the float look bigger, while in the past it was only to make the mechanism visible.
(Ex.1) Attached on the important parts of flowers and dolls on a float, miniature bulbs flickered by a hand-turned generator. (By Dashi-gumi (a float-making team) of Nijuroku-machi ward)
(Ex.2) With a hand-turned fan, some bits of paper in the image of cherry blossom petals scattered in the air to represent a Japanese folk tale ‘Hanasakaji’(The Story of the Old Man Who Made Withered Trees to Blossom). (By Dashi-gumi team of Nijuroku-machi ward)
(Ex.3) They made a (doll’s) mouth to issue smoke by using a smoke candle. (By Dashi-gumi team of Nijuroku-machi ward)
(Ex.4) To represent a legend “A Carp Swimming up a Waterfall”, they depicted a waterfall on a cloth as a background, and set up cylinders vertically underneath the cloth to make the waterfall look flowing. (By Dashi-gumi team of Nijuroku-machi ward)
(Ex.5) After a doll of Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy) on a float bends and gets up, the Kannon’s body will become a huge Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy).
(Ex.6) It is said that there used to be many floats that bifold (to avoid an electric line) and ascend with a pulley to show their heights, when an electric line was set up in the town.
(Ex.7) At present, many floats have such devices as: a stage that turns both frontward and sideways; a sliding stage under a carrier that can be drawn out frontward, leftward, and rightward; a stage rises upward to be double stages while opening a background left and right, and raising a rear scene.


Kasahoko is a festive decoration of a big umbrella with a halberd, a long sword, and artificial flowers attached on it. Since its first procession, two portable shrines were built by Mikka-machi and Yoka-machi towns associations in Hachinohe respectively, and has been carried by 10 people. Tsuitachi-machi group also exhibited a Kasahoko in the shape of Engetsuto (The Green Dragon Crescent Blade), a legendary weapon that was used by a Chinese military commander, Guan Yu.


A ‘thank‐you'' party is given after the procession of floats in Sansha Taisai. Another name for it is ‘Kasa-nugi-kai’, as people involved take off their hats adorned with flowers after the festival is over.
In the past, the party was held mostly in a station house, as the floats were made by Dashi-gumi (float-making teams) composed of fire defense societies in units.
Recently, the party tend to be held in hotels, community centers, and so on in September and October, when everything is settled after the festival, unlike in the past when the party was scheduled to be on the next day of the festival or the following Saturday or Sunday.


After Hachinohe Sansha Taisai ends, they lend the floats to fall festivals in the southern part of Aomori Prefecture and the northern part of Akita Prefecture in the neighbor.

Kiba Dakyu (Japanese Polo)

Originated in Persia in the 6th century B.C. and introduced into Britain via India, playing polo was brought to Japan in the 9th century in the Heian Period via the Tang Dynasty and the Bohai Sea. Today, this kind of traditional kiba dakyu remains only in Hachinohe, the Imperial Household, and Yamagata Prefecture. The riders wearing ancient soldiers’ caps divided into two teams (red or white), and they compete by using a pole, a mallet-like instrument called ''gicho'', with a net to catch the ball and throw it into their goal, all while on horseback.

Kigyo Dashi

Floats made and operated by companies and the like other than town associations.
Until now, the following companies have been joined in Sansha Taisai Festival by producing the floats.
Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd., Hachinohe Mill
The Daily Tohoku Shinbun Inc.
Marumitsu Dept. Store
Nissho Tsukikinkai


One of dolls exhibited on festive floats in Sansha Taisai, owned by Muika-machi town association, which became a symbol of the town.
Kinpira is a son of brave Kintoki (Kintaro) SAKATA, one of the big four vassals of Raiko MINAMOTO (famous for their valor of exterminating ogres).
Heroic episode of Kinpira SAKATA was set as one of subjects for Ningyo Joruri (Japanese puppet theater) which became popular in the early Edo Period, of which show came to be called ‘Kinpira Joruri’. Because of that, a strong and fierce temper has been referred to as ‘Kinpira’.
As chopped burdock roots seasoned with red pepper give a hard texture and hot taste, this type of Japanese dish was called ‘Kinpira Gobo (burdock roots)’.

Kisha Hachido

Michinobu NANBU was a leading successor of Kagami-Style Kiba Dakyu (Ancient Japanese polo) and further promoted horse husbandry in the Hachinohe Domain, by encouraging his retainers to improve the riding skills through Kiba dakyu, Yabusame (horseback archery), Inuomono (dog-hunting event), Kasagake (bamboo-hat target shooting), and so on.


Kiyari-ondo song makes a chance for festive floats for moving.
(1)‘Kiyari’ literally means ‘Ki o yari watasu’ (hauling heavy lumbers, etc.) and Kiyari song were sung by people in great numbers during the work to synchronize the breathing with each other to join forces. In the Edo Period, the song began to develop as one of the necessary accomplishments of firemen, and diverted into a festive song at a frame-work-raising ceremony, a wedding, and a festival rite, which led to ‘Kiyari’ song.
(2)Huryu Dashi (an elaborately designed float) appeared after the Meiji Period in Sansha Taisai are said to be derived from Huryu Dashi in a grand festival of Morioka Hachiman-gu Shrine in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture.
The song lyrics of Kiyari in Morioka is an explanation of the subject of the floats, while those in Hachinohe is a joyous festive song.
(Ex.) Lyrics at a grand festival of Morioka Hachiman-gu Shrine (subject of the song is ‘Yoshitsune Hasso-tobi’):
Yare oiwai, yare oiwai, choka tsubameka Akamagaurao odoru hiodoshi oyoroi.
Yare oiwai, yare oiwai, uzumaku kaikyo osoremonashini, tobuya Yoshitsune sassoni.
(Ex.) Lyrics at Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival:
Yare oiwai, yare oiwai, imatosha(kotosha) yogayote, Sanshano matsuri, okawa mansaku, hamamatatairyo.
Yare oiwai, yare oiwai, medeta, medetano, wakamatsu-samayo, edamo sakaete, hamo sigeru.
There are mainly two types of Kiyari-ondo songs: the song sung by people in great numbers during the work of hauling lumbers after logging a forest; the song called ‘Tairyo (a large catch)-ondo’, which was sung by fishermen to draw a large catch of herring and other fish into a boat with a net. On the other hand, Kiyari song sung in Hachinohe derived from the song by firemen in the Nanbu Domain.
A folding fan is used as a tool during the chanting of Kiyari.


They use small drums with a cord tightening device for the drum.


Kodan is the kind of float subjects. It is an art of telling stories. Story-tellers recite heroic episodes
with special intonation such as tales of warriors, bravery, revenge, political matters, and etc..
The heroes are Iwami Jutaro, Sanada Ju-uyu-shi, ten braveries, and so on.

Kodomo Kamishimo Gyoretsu

In contrast to a procession of shrine maidens, Kodomo Kamishimo Gryoretsu is that of boys attired in old ceremonial costume of Samurai, visiting Shinmei-gu Shrine in a Shinto ritual.

Kokuzo (enshrined at Chojasan Sanshado, which later became Shinra Shrine)

The god enshrined at Sanshado in Hachinohe is exactly Kokuzo Bosatsu (the Sanskrit name Ākāśa-garbhaor Gaganagañja), one of bodhisattvas and an object to worship in Buddhism. Kokuzo Bosatsu is regarded to be the incarnation and a symbol of the morning star, and is called a bodhisattva of wisdom as being believed to give wisdom to mankind.

Komaodori dance

It is an artist and people living in Hachinohe, Sannohe and Kamikita county, northern Iwate prefecture
area wearing a horse model on their waist and dance like riding a horse.
Originally people of Nanbu-han clan working for gathering horses which were unpenned and grazed made a dance imitating their working manners.
Though it once disappeared, it has been reproduced and restored in Takadate district in Heisei period. Now it is the typical Komaodori dance in Hachinohe and takes part in Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Fesrival.

Koran Dashi

A float fenced with red railings / balustrades on all sides. ‘A double railings float’ is a two-story float, with its second platform being highly raised, and decorated with flowers hung from the railings on four sides.

Koya Biraki

The first special day for opening a storage hut for a float for the new year to start making a float. It has the same meaning as Chona(adze)-date (to cut wood) ceremony (a ritual for carpenters before work commences).


Koyagake is to build a hut to make a festive float.
In the past, they used ‘Hoke’ (a timber of which branches were pruned away) to set up a pillar. At present, scaffolds are mainly used to make the hut. Back in the day, they annually made the hut (Koyagake) before making a float and broke it after the festival.

Kudari Ningyo

The head of a doll bought in from directions of Edo (present Tokyo) and Kyoto.

Kusakari Sanno・Kusakari Sanro

A doll of Kusakari Sanro is set on a float of Sansha Taisai, owned by communities of Jurokunichi-machi and Nijurokunichi-machi as a symbol of the town.
The scene depicted is a figure playing a flute pulling a cow. In a legend, an imperial prince, Kajin (later became Emperor Yomei) named himself Sanro and disguised himself as a grass-cutter, whose sound of a flute even pleased the cow. Sanro served a wealthy person with a beautiful daughter named Tamayo-hime, and married her in the end.

Kyodo Geino (Folk Entertainment)

Performing arts rooted in the local community is a kind of subjects of the float, including Hachinohe Enburi, Keibai, etc.


One of the Chinese classical plays (a kind of opera), which is used as one of the categories of the subjects of floats. Examples are as follows:
Mulan, Legend of the White Snake, Annals of the Three Kingdoms, Flower Princess, etc.


One of the Japanese eras (1716-1735) before the Genbun Era.
It was during the reigns of Emperor Nakamikado and Emperor Sakuramachi.
The Shogun of Edo Shogunate at that time was Yoshimune Tokugawa.
There was a great famine referred to as the Kyohon Famine.


Matsuri Isho

Adult (1) ・・・Tenugui ( a thin Japanese hand towel made of cotton) with mameshibori polka dots , yukata (a casual cotton kimono for the summer season ), Suteteko (Japanese short under pants for men .), white tabi socks , Setta (Japanese traditional sandals resembling flip-flops )
Adult (2) ・・・Hanten (see entry 117 ), Momohiki (Japanese traditional long , rather tight underpants. ) Kurotabi (black tabi socks ), Setta.
Adult (3) ・・・Hanten , T-shirt , white pants , white short pants , Jikatabi (long tabi socks with rubber soles for some kinds of workers )
Adult women (4) ・・・Yukata , Okoshi ( an underwear for kimono for women resembling a thin sarong ) , Zori ( flat and thonged Japanese sandals . less casual than setta )
Adult women ・・・(Tekomai , float leading dancers ) ・・kimono as a coat , kimono for under Hakama (a wide skirt-like trouser ) Tattsuke-bakama ( forked Hakama with gaiters ) , tabi socks , Zori .
Children ・・・Hanagasa ( see entry 119 ), Hanten , (see entry 117 ) , Yukata ( Children Mutual Aid Society of Hachinohe City Officials )

Matsuri no nittei no hensen

Kyoho 6 (1721) The portable shrine of Horyosha ( the present Ogamijinja ) was carried near around the Hachinoe Castle to the Chojasan Kokuzodo (the present Chojasan Shinra Shrine )
Bunsei 8 (1825) Schedule of Horyousha festival was changed to three -days festival starting from July 20
Koka 3 (1846) The evening festival before Horyosha festival started .
Meiji 43 (1910) Changed to the schedule of September 1 - September 3 in the solar calendar
Showa 35 (1960) Changed to the schedule of August 21-August 23 , 3 days .
Showa 41 (1966) The name of the festival was changed to " Hachinohe Matsuri ". The evening festival on August 20 started .
Showa 50 (1975) The name was restored to "Hachinohe Sanaha Taisai ".
Showa 57 (1982) Changed to the evening festival on July 31, festival August 1-August 3 .
Heisei 15 (2003) August 4 was added as the day of last night festival.

Matsurino Hensen

Change of festival : In course of time powerful merchants of Hachinohe domain buying figures to decorate "Yatais "(floats ) Toramai tiger dance by locals came to join the procession , developed as big festival in praying for the safety of town and good harvest . In Meiji 17 (1884) Shinra Shrine , 5 years later Shinmei-gu joined the procession to make the festival of three shrines , Changed the style iin which the same figure had been put on the stall every year to one newly built floats processed , became original model of the current style .
(photo: the stall from the Edo period "Taikobo" .Different from modern gorgeous floats it makes us think of long layerd weight of history . Usually exhibited at Ogami Shrine through the year .)

Miko gyoretsu ( Chigo Gyoretsu )

Miko= An unmarried woman who serves a deity and performs kagura (shrine music and dance ) , kito ( invocations of divine power ) , receives oracles , transmits the words of the dead .
In the procession of Shinmei-gu Shrine of the Hachinohe Sansha Taisai festival , girls who process on special carts ( in those days , on jinrikishas ) with 10 kinds of traditional Gagaku musical instruments in their hands , red Japanese traditional parasols above their heads


A koshi on which the object of worship is put to be carried . Koshi is a vehicle with 2 bars carried on people''s shoulders . Also Shinyo

Mikoshi Togyo

Formally , Shinko-sai . One of the rituals of Shinto shrines in which a deity makes a trip . In many cases , transferring the object of worship or the one inhabited by a deity from the shrine to a Mikoshi ( portable shrine . A vehicle of deity ) , making a trip its territory , to the resting point in the mid way or going back to the shrine are the rituals dispensed . Almost of festivals with portable shrines or the ones which have Ho-o (mythological bird ) on top are some kinds of Shinko-sai . Shinko-sai ,( lit. joureny of a deity ) means in a broad sense the whole trip , in a narrow sense the way to the destination such as Otabi-sho, a temporary enshrinement location .



A general in Kai Province lived from the end of Heian Period to the early Kamakura Period.
The second son of Tomitsu KAGAMI from the Kai-Genji Clan.
He was the founder of the Ogasawara clan to which the position of the Shinano no kuni no kami (the Governor of the Shinano Province) was granted, and was a progenitor of Ogasawara school of Japanese horseback archery technique.

Nakabi (Dashi Yakan Unkou)

The second day of the festival ( August 2 , at present ).
In Chojasan Sakura-no-baba (In the riding field of Chojasan Shinra Shrine , named Sakura -no-baba .),
Kagami-ryu Kiba-dakyu ( Kagami-style Japanese polo game ) , which has been held since Bunsei 10 , is played. (an Aomori prefectural intangible folk cultural property) There is a parade of only floats at night . Looking different from daytime , onlookers realize the fascination of illuminated floats .


One type of floats that represents a scene of the sea or the water . A scene in which spindrift is used .

Nanbu Nobumasa

Feburary 1, Anei 9 (March 6 , 1780by the solar calenndar ) ― December 29 , Kōka 3 (Feburary 14 , 1847) .The eighth feudal lord of Mutsu Hachinohe Han (feudal domain , roughly corresponds to present Hachinohe city) As the third son of the sixth lord Nanbu Nobuyori , born in Edo . Originally named Yasukichi , afterward Mondo , Saemon-no-j.ō. Nobumasa appointed Nomura Gunki to "Goshuhōga-syunin " , carried out drastic political reforms above all the succesive lords of Hachinohe Han .


One of the job titles of Shinto priests .
In general Shintoshrines , lower rank than Guji ( the representative priest ) ,higher than Gon-negi , (general priest) , and assists Guji .

Nikki DanjŌ

One of the leading characters for floats '' themes.
A person from "Meiboku-Sendai-Hagi Sendai Date Soudou ", Kabuki play . A typical villain who schemes to take over the family of his own lord.
Modeled on an actual chief retainer of Sendai Han feudal domain , Harada Kai .
Hachinohe floats deal with him as a person who rids of mice , but correctly , Nikki DanjŌ is a Ninja sorcerer who uses mice in his magic , doesn '' t rid of.


Originally meant a person who makes not only a doll but also the whole float , nowadays a person who makes a head of doll seems to be called Ningyō-shi.


One kind of the materials for float ''s themes .
The last form of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints which was established in Edo period . Numbers of nishiki-e were printed until around Meiji 30s .
Earthquake catfish , The auspicious show featuring lucky gods , etc .

Nomura Gunki

Anei 3(1774)-October 20, Tenpo 5 (November 20 , 1834 ) A feudal retainer of Hachinohe feudal domain in Edo period . Originally named Munemichi , later Takeichi .
In Bunka 1 , appointed as ōmetsuke (An important official ), he devised some measures to readjust depressed economy of Hachinoe Han by economizing expenditure of lord'' s residence in Edo , developing new rice fields , controling domain products . However in Tenpō 5 (1834) , he was disgraced by Kuji - Karumai dōri Hie Sangō Ikki ( the revolt in Kuji district and Karumai district. ).
In Bunsei 8 (1825 ) , when he served as ōmetsuke and Jisya-Bugyo ( controler of priests , temples and shrines ) concurrently , he issued a proclamation that make towns hold a large scale of festival ( Hachinoe Sansya Taisai after, wards ) , and make Toramai dance group of Same town take part in .
Also in September Bunsei 8 this year , visiting the shrine by horse came to be added , therfore return in truiumph parade featuring horsemen , foot soldiers , flag-bearers , Umajirushi ( sign which shows the commander''s whereabouts ) bearer was added to the procession as well . This was the start of the present Musya-oshi prpcession.



Long trunk Japanese drums are used as big drums.

Ogami Shrine

Being enshrined in Uchimaru town in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, Ogami Shrine, officially called Horeisan-Ogami Shrine, is said to be the oldest shrine in the city, dating back to the Heian Period, with a history of about 900 years.
The chief deities of the shrine are Taka-ogami-no-kami and Horyo-daimyojin.
Ogami Shrine became the Sochinju (local Shinto deity) of the Hachinohe Domain and the place of prayer for the Nanbu Clan in 1665 (5th year of the Kanbun Era) in the early Edo Period, with an appointment as the guardian deity of the fief by the Hachinohe Domain on its establishment.
The shrine was originally dedicated to Ubusunagami (Tutelary deity) of Kashiwazaki ward of Hachinohe village and was called Misaki-sha (literally, Cape shrine), originated from the name of three places ‘saki (three capes)’ when it was founded. The original place of the enshrinement was in the southeast direction (around the present Uchimaru ward 3 chome to the direction of Kashiwazaki in Hachinohe City) of its present location.
The shrine is the birthplace of Hachinohe Sansha Taisai.


A musical accompaniment of Sansha Taisai consists of one big drum, five small drums, and some flutes (regardless of the number).

Okaeri (Return)

Okaeri (return) parade is held on the last day of the Sansha Taisai (the third day of the festival, August 4th), as a shrine ritual.
The parade consists of potable shrines, floats, and other diverse range of pageants and performances, which originates from a procession as a shrine ritual returning from Mitamaya at Chojasan back to Ogami Shrine by passing through the center of the city of the old Hachinohe castle town. A traditional route for the parade was set from the foot of Chojasan to Fuda-no-tsuji crossing in Mikka-machi town.


A group of people chanting a song that are sung during the hauling on lumbers. They are called Ondo-tori (chorus leaders) by leading a chorus.


A Shinto priest to perform purification ceremony in Shinto ritual.


Otona are influential persons of a town who serve as chief operating officers of the procession of the festival. They put on kamishimo (old ceremonial costume of samurai), ichimonjigasa (hat made of braided sedge), and wakizashi (short sword).

Otori (Departure)

The departure (otori) parade is held on the first day of Sansha Taisai (now it falls on August 1st), which originates from a parade of the enshrined deity of Ogami Shrine to reach to Mitamaya at Cyojasan. At present, the procession begins from the City Hall and passes through the old castle town of Hachinohe via a traditional route and terminates at Chojasan Shinra Shine. The gorgeous floats and portable shrine parade are combined to create a real life historical picture scroll, which originates in a way to pray for good harvest and to express gratitude. In the parade, a diverse range of pageants and performances are on view along with floats, the shrine maiden (miko) and the warrior (musha) procession, the brisk tooth-chattering of the lion masks from the Horyo kagura, and the tiger dance.


Enshrined deity at Shinra Shine.
Ōmononushi is a deity in the Japanese Shinto mythology. Worshipped at the Ōmiwa Shrine, the deity (Yamato-Ōmononushi-kushimikata-no-mikoto) is nigi-mitama (spirit of peace/harmonious soul) of Ōanamuchi Ōkuninushi-no-kami. Another name is Miwa-myojin. Ōmononushi is worshipped as a nature spirit strongly associated with snakes, water, and thunder, who provides bountiful harvest of rice crop, prevents illness, and brews sake. As being bunrei (the divided spirit) of Ōkuninushi-no-kami, he is often worshipped as Daikokuten (god of wealth).



A type of floats on which bridge , parapet is built all around .Also called rankan-mono (lit.parapet type )


Sanada- saemonnosuke

One of Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival figures by Wakasaya Zenpati and J^ uichiya Naokiti is Sanada Yukimura.
He was called Sanada Nobusige at first and a war-lord during from Azuti- Momoyama period to early Edo period, and the second son of Sanada Masayuki, the lord. Usually he was called Saemon-no-suke, and his fellows called him Genjiro. But he was most well- known by the name of Sanada Yukimura.
He, as a war-lord of Toyotomi-side, greatly succeeded at the battle of O~ saka Natuno Jin and attacked into the headquarter of Tokugawa Yeyasu the leader. It was recorded by Yedo Bakufu the sho- gu- nate and many lords.
Later, some war-tales, story-tellings, and illustrated books were written about it. Ten
warriors of Sanada clan in it were well- known for their heroic combat across the country.

Sansha Taisai no Hajimari

Hachinohe Sansha Taisai started in Kyoho 6 (1721) when a portable shrine procession was held from Horyodaimyojin (the present Ogami Shrine ) to Chojasan Sanshado ( the present Chojasan Shinra Shrine )


Three jinja shrines go ahead in the procession of Hatinohe Sansha Taisai Festival.


He walks at the head of the procession of Hatinohe Sansha Taisai Festival as a guide. He wears unique wooden foot-wear
and red mask with a long nose. He is a deity in Japanese mythology. In the case of Tenson-Korin, the Revolving Door, he
was the messanger from AMATEWRASU -O^ MIKAMI , the sun-goddess. He was also called Kunituno-kami. Because of this, he walks at the head of the procession to lead it.


People dance with bammboo leaves in their hands to the accompaniment of rhythmical music called ''shagiri''. In the period of Nanbu clan regime, girls of trade stores took part in Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival parade,
but in Meiji era, they stopped it. And in 2004, they restored the dance according to the archives and etc. .
About 15 girls show their lovely dance to the music to on-lookers of both sides o the parade.


It is the stage of the float that goes up and down.


It is a festival song accompanied with drum, samisen, lead, and flute, which is graceful and elegant Just like Gion school song in Kyouto.
Though they ceased to sing the song in Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival in Meiji era, it was restored In 2004, and now is the rhythm for the bamboo-leaf dancing.


It is the deity enshrined in SANSHADO in Hatinohe. To be correct, it’s Shinra-myoujin, the numen of ENJOUJI temple. When the priest ENTIN or V. Rev. TISHO DAISHI was to leave TO Tang for Japan, the Deity appeared at the bow of the ship and said, “I am SINRANOKUNIMYOUJIN ” That is the reason why it has been worshiped by people as the numen, and enshrined at SANSHADO in Hatinohe. Or
it is also said it is the deity that came over from the Korean Peninsula to Japan.


Mythology is one of the themes of floats.
The stories were written in the history books of KOJHIKI and NIHONSHOKI. For example,the stories about the birth of a nation, the rock door, and destroying an enormous snake with eight heads, etc.were written in them.


Some float-companies are based on the fire system. In that case, each float has a fire company.
Itiban-gumi  = Tuitachi –mati
Nibanngumi = Nijuurokuniti- mati
Sanbangumi = Nijuhatinitiーmati、Simodaiku-mati
Yonbangumi  = Kajishou
Gigumi    = Ju^rokuniti- mati
Wakagumi  = Sin-ara-mati
Gidogumi  = Nukazuka
Wagumi    = Fukiage
Tatugumi = Ju^itiniti-mati
Wago-gumi  = Sio-cho 
Motowaka–gumi = Ara-mati
Day9bundan- 2han = Uruiti
Dai9bundan- 3han = Sinkumi


It is a Chinese mythology telling about four holy beasts which guard four directions of the nation, east, west, north and south. The holy bests are SEIRYU blue dragon for the east, SUZAKU bird for the west, BYAKKO white tiger for the west and GENBU for the north. These beasts are batiked on the flag.


This is a float figure of HATINOHE SANSHATAISAI Festival by ITAYA TAROBEI with its emblem.
It is one of special, traditional performing arts which consist of NOGAKU as well as NO and KYOGEN. Coming from NOGAKU, it is also used in KABUKI-BUYO dances and NIPPON-BUYO dances.
The actors of SIKISANBASO are OKINA, TITOSE, SANBASO and the carrier of mask box. They celebrate, dance and pray for the peace and safety of nation, and a rich harvest.


TAKEDA SINGEN, a float figure of Sansha Taisai by KAWATIYA HATIROBEI with his emblem. TAKEDA HASIN, who became SINGEN later, was a war-lord in the feudalism era and protection-lord of KAI, a war lord. And he was the 19th leader of KAI TAKEDA Family, the main branch of the KAI TAKEDA clan.


The enshrined deity of Sinrajinja -shrine, a war-lord of the late Heian Period, the third son of Minamoto Yoriyoshi,
the second leader of Kawati-Genji clans-men. His brothers were Minamoto Yosiie and Minamoto Yoshituna.
Because he had a confirmation ceremony at Sinramyoujin-shrine in O~mi-no-kuni which is Miidera, Sinra-zensindo
in O^ tu, he was called Sinra Saburo~ . He is the enshrined deity of Sinra-jinja shrine in Hatinohe. Because he was enshrined as a deity, the appellatrion MIKOTO was given to him.


The whole float is a castle. It’s called SIRODASI a castle-float.


In 1820, BUNSEI 4, three long spears were dedicated to the shrine. And two more spears were dedicated in 1833, TENPO 4 and they are five in total. These spears are carried with TATEGASA standing -umbrella, HASAMIBAKO tool box, KAPPAKAGO basket for rain-coat or caps are carried in the lord parade.

Sitadai (Yadai)

It’s the float to make float-figures or images on. In Hatinohe the base -float was originally a four-wheeler. Later, the chasis of the truck has become the float- base.

So jobo

He is a great TENGU, a long nosed goblin that lived in OKUSOJO-DANI valley, Mt. KURAMA.
He is called ANBAYAMA-JOBO. The legend says he instructed USIWAKA-MARU the points of martial arts.


It’s one of the subjects of the float figures that creators of floats have original ideas and images : for example, TAIANN-KITIJITU a lucky, good day, SAN-SHIMAI-WAI-NO-UTAGE a celebration banquet of three sisters, and SHUKUMAI a celebration dance, and so on.


The water fall flow down from the top of the float to the bottom of it. The whole float is full of water spray. It is also called ‘waterfall float’.


This is the enshrined deity of SHINRAJINJA shrine that is SUSANONOMIKOTO.
He is the son of IZANAGINO-MIKOTO and IZANAMINO-MIKOTO in Japanese mythology. He is the younger brother of AMATERASU-O^MIKAMI the sun goddess. As he resorted to many reckless attempts, she
seriously got angry with him and hid herself into the cave AMANO-IWATO. The world completely became dark. He was exiled from the heaven TAKAMAGA-HARA. He descended to IZUMO to the earth. There he destroyed an enormous snake with eight heads YAMATANO-OROTI, and rescued the princess KUSINADA=HIME. There he found out a sword AMANO-MURAKUMONO-TURUGI from the tail of the snake and dedicated it to the sun goddess AMATERASU-O^MIKAMI.

Su^pa^ kabuki

This is a kind of float subject. The 3rd ITIKAWA ENNO-SUKE, a KABUKI actor thought out this style of performance. I ts modernized story, speed, spectacles and so on are fused into KABUKI play. Its splendidly gorgeous costumes are fittable to the subject of the float figures. ITIKAWA EMIYA, a KABUKI female personator fromHACHINOHE makes the heroin of the float popular very much. The subjects of KABUKI play then are YAMATO TAKERU, RYU^O^, KAGUYA and so on.



It’s a float figure of SANSHA-TAISAI Fesrival.
In the times of dynasty SHU, China, this expert war lord TAIKOBO greatly acted for founding the nation. He had other names of GYOSEI, SISHOFU,RYOSHO ,and fishing at ISUI river, he met BUN-O of SHU nation. He said, “You are the very sage that our pre-emperor tried to find.” And he worked for SHU-nation, did a great gest at times of the king BUKO and was bestowed SEIKO a country.

Tametomo onigasima

The three float-figures of Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival by NISIMATIYA the trade-folk, which are MINAMOTO-NO-TAMETOMO and two goblins.
TAMETOMO is a warrior at the late HEIAN period, the eighth son of MINAMOTO-NO-TAMEYOSHI.
And he is an uncle of the brothers MINAMOTO YORITOMO and YOSITUNE.
He was over 2 meters tall, had a giant body, crude, good at bow and famous for his bravery.  
But as was naturally reckless, his father had nothing to with him, and so he was exiled to KYU^SHU^ the back-lands of Japan. But there also he gathered people and made them his followers. He became the boss of them and called himself TINZEI-HATIRO.
Then, a civil war HOGEN-NO-RAN broke out and he fiercely fought against the enemy for Emperor SUTOKU, but to his sorry he was defeated and exiled to IZU O^SIMA, an isolated island. And there again he didn’t obey its intendancy, did many reckless attempts and virtually controlled the island. He was hunted down and finally killed himself.
A legend says he escaped from the island into ONIGA-SIMA island and RYU^KYU^ Okinawa prefecture.People there could never draw his long bow by any means.


Lived from 1834 (5th year of the Tenpo Era) to 1906(39th year of the Meiji Period).
A feudal retainer of the Hachinohe Clan, born as a child of Satoru NEISAWA. A childhood name is Shingo, Sadaemon NEISAWA.
Served as a sub-leader of the Hachinohe troop in the Noheji War in 1868 (the 1st year of the Meiji Period).
Changed the name into Tamon OSAWA after the Boshin War, and became the headman of Hachinohe Town in 1873 (the 6th year of the Meiji Period). Later, he contributed to revive the Enburi Festival and to develop Sansha Taisai Festival. He also built a theater called Otafukuza near Chojasan Shinra Shrine. It is said that he retired from active life, and lived in Dobutsu, Hashikami Village (present Hashikami Town).
He donated portable shrines to Chojasan Shinra Shrine and Shinmei-gu Shrine in 1896 (29th year of the Meiji Period), which formed a base for Sansha Taisai. It can be said that he is the founding father of Sansha Taisai. He is also said to let Huryudashi (an elegantly decorated float) into the festival by each ward.


This is one type of the floats. A big gate and part of the castle are the base of the float.
Shrines and temples sometimes become its back-ground.


(1)In the festival, geisha- girls in male attire draw an iron rod and walk at the head of the
Parade of MIKOSHI the portable shrines and floats. It has been conducted since Edo era.
(2)Originally, in the Edo festivals and ceremonies such as SANOUSAI Festivals and KANDA
Festivals, TEKOMAI people were the construction-laborers who guarded the floats.
Now, TEKOMAI generally means those women marching through the streets in the festivals and so on, In costumes of TEKOMAI, or geisha-girls in male attire.
(3)In Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival, they are called ‘JANGARA-carrier’ or ‘KANABO^HIKI’Iron-rod drawer.

The festival car that a device works

Some floats have a device in which the head part and the middle part of the float stretch wide and the tail part soars up. In the parade, when they come to a broad site, their devices work fine. Please take a careful look at them. At the Eve and the closing festival, all the floats gather at the plaza in front of the city hall and at the main street. There all the devices of the floats work all together. Please enjoy the variances of figures’ appearances and their scenes.


A station where members of Shobo-dan (fire company ) gather and stay .
Tamuro-sho. Most of Shobo-dans'' dashi-gumi ( float groups ) have built floats at their stations.

Tora mai

It is tiger dancing. The tiger dancing is found in many regions of Pacific sea-sides of TO^HOKU District. It has been handed down for generations as the belief of ‘Putting-Out-Fire’ and‘the Safety of Sailing’In Hachinohe city, the dancing is popular and active in Same, Minato, Konakano, and Niida
area. They perform tiger dancing in the procession of Hachinohe Sanshataisai Festival. It consists of a tiger, a clown, and a child who plays with the tiger swinging bamboo grass to encourage the tiger.
The tiger dance in Hachinohe has a wide repertoire of dances, and is originally independent from Same-kagura dances. The event in which KATO KIYOMASA the excellent warrior destroyed a tiger in Korea was created into a dance, which is said.
The performance of tiger dance is humorous, acrobatic and popular very much. Bittenhead by the tiger, he/she will keep healthy and smart, they say.
They have taken part in Hachinohe Sanshataisai Festival since 1824, 8 of Bunsei.


It’s the enshrined goddess of SINRA-JINJA shrine, the child of WAKUMUSUBI-NO-KAMI deity and grand-daughter of SUSANO^NO-MIKOTO. She is the goddess of good harvest and enshrined at the Outer Shrine of Ise.


It denotes many kinds of auxiliary things for the festivals.
In Hatinohe Sanshataisai Festival it means auxiliary floats.



The enshrined deity of Shinra Shrine, ‘Inari Myojin (another name for Ukano-mitama-no-mikoto)’, originally appears in a Japanese myth, and was written as ‘Ukano-mitama-no-kami’ in a historical record Kojiki; a part of his name ‘Uka’ means grains and foods, thus he is a deity of grains.
Inari-Myojin is the chief deity enshrined in Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine and is widely worshipped as the deity of Inari (well-known as Oinari-san). However, a written name ‘Ukano-mitama-no-kami’ as the chief Inari deity appears only after the Muromachi Period in documents. In Ise Grand Shrine, the deity has been worshipped earlier on as Mikura-no-kami.

Unjo Dashi

The whole float is decorated with clouds to show a scene of the heavens and the upper region, which is often used as a subject of gods and deities.


Wakamono renchu

Float groups of locals from early times to around the Showa era . Tradition says that in the Meiji era Osawa Tamon notified that locals should prepare floats and join the festival by the unit of Shobo gumi (group of town''s fire fighters ). As a result , groups of young fire fighters became float groups , they are called Wakamono-rennchu or Wakamono-ren ( Muikamachi=Sakanamachi was the special exception ).

What is the Hachinoe Sansha

The Hachinohe Sansha Taisai prides on its about 290 years of history and tradition , and is the largest Festival in Tohoku district , has been designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural property .Every year for the 5 days from July 31 to August 5 a gorgeous parade of hisdtoric picture skrolls spread . The highlight of the ferstival is 2 days of August 1and August 3 , the procession of mikoshi (portable shrine from Ogami Shrine , Chojasan Shinra Shrine and Shinmei-gu Shrine as well as the parade of 27 floats featuring subjects such as mythological stories , legend , and kabuki stories built by town''s float groups .Every time gorgeous float passes by , the roadside is filled with exultations . Also on July 31, evening festival before the first day , and Nakabi on August 2, August 4 last night festival spectators can enjoy different atmosphere from daytime . Please visit Hachinohe to see this gorgeous float festival with unique atmosphere produced by the shower of drum''s beat , continuous sound of fue (Japanese traditional flute ) , calls of high-spirited children .



A Japanese traditional technique, practice, rite of archery in which the rider shoots a kabura-ya (whistling arrow ) at a target from a running horse . Originally it was called Yabase-uma , ya means an arrow , base is a paradigm of haseru , to ride a horse , uma means a horse . As time passes the word came to be called Yabusame .


A monk practicing Shugendo .Mountain ascetic monk . Shugendo is Japanese mountain asceticism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts .


In the course of festival music , when they stopped playing , some special performance only by drum is played . In many cases it is played when the festival music finishes and before Kiyari-ondo (a genre of Japanese traditional labor song )


In Hachinohe , a float with roof and wheels . Decorating dolls in it , joined the parade . In the Showa era , vanished from Hachinohe . In Meiji era , Furyu- dashi which was remodeled every year took the place of Yatai-dashi .


One kind of the materials for float ''s themes . Romance which was popular in the late Edo era . It came in after the reform of Kansei period , attained its prime time , still in the Meiji era , was printed to spread . Works of writers such as Kyokutei Bakin , Santou Kyouden .Nansou Satomi Hakkenden , Chinsetsu Ymihariduki , etc .


An object or the sacred place possessed by a deity or the spirit . In shinto festival temporary object or place to invite them except to usual shrine or a Shinto altar


Formal dress of the Hachinohe Sansha Taisai . Being autumn festival originally , Yukata is the formal dress . Yukata= A kind of kimono . Different from normal kimono , it is worn next to the skin without Naga-juban (under wear for normal kimono ).



They are the ancient court guards to protect nobles and princesses, and also shrine guards to protect shrines from evils.
They are the staffs in the procession of SANSHA-TAISAI Festival and were originally the guard attendants by the message from Emperor to protect the superiors.