On April 8th, Minato’s Harumiya 4 pillar had their Yamadashi, the first part of the Onbashira festival. From the start at Tanakoba far up the Higashi-mata Valley to the end point at Shimekake, it was a raucous and energetic day. Kiotoshi, the pillar riding ceremony, was one for the ages.  Shoichi Ajisawa was at the Hananori position at the front of the pillar (pictured above). Once again this year Kiotoshi was smooth and incident free.

The first video covers Yamadashi up through Kiotoshi. The fall is at 7:00, but the false starts before are an interesting part of the process. The view is from the top of the slope.

Next, the moment that started off Kiotoshi—the Yoki-tori, Hidetomo Yamazaki, cutting the rope to send the pillar on its way. From 7:30

And finally, a unique view of Kiotoshi from the bottom of the hill…and a close call!

Top photo by Emi Yamazaki

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