Pinterest • The world’s catalogue of ideas

Fierce looking archer at the Yabusame shinji (流鏑馬神事) Horseback Archery at the Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto!


The Saiō-Dai is a woman who is chosen from the sisters and daughters of the emperor to dedicate herself to the Shimogamo shrine and is carried on the Oyoyo Mikoshi (portable shrine). The role of Saiō-Dai was to maintain ritual purity and to represent the Emperor at the festival. Now, the role of the Saiō-Dai is played by an unmarried woman in Kyoto. She would be dressed in the traditional style of the Heian court.

Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto, Japan: photo by William Corey. My niece spent a year in Kyoto and speaks fluent Japanese. I was born on the Japanese Riukan Islands in Okinawa. I guess you could say I was literally "made in Japan!"