Murozumi Enya – Powerful and Magnificent Autumn Festival in Yamaguchi


At Hayaosa Hachimangu Shrine Autumn Festival (早長八幡宮秋祭り) in Murozumi, Yamaguchi prefecture, citizens pray for the safety in the ocean and abundant catch of fish during the first Sunday of October every year. Murozumi residents carry Mikoshi – a small shrine, with yelling “Enya! Enya!” That is why some people call this festival “Murozumi Enya.” The audience of the festival will feel the power of citizens in Murozumi, which is a local port town. In this article, I am going to describe the history of Hayaosa Hachimangu Autumn Festival and the way to enjoy it.

The History of Hayaosa Hachimangu Autumn Festival

The origin of the festival dates to the Muromachi period. In 1444, a ship with Holy Spirit arrived Hayaosa from Oita prefecture, and residents enshrined it in Murozumi. The citizens have been celebrating this event by practicing the return of the Holy Spirit to Oita in Mikoshi and ships since those times. At most Japanese festivals, people use Mikoshi to take the God back to the original place, which is one kind of the common practices.


At Hayaoasa Hachimangu Autumn Festival, citizens use 11 Mikoshi, and each Mikoshi has its name. From the first, Daiha (台若), Tori (鳥居), Ishitouro (石燈呂), Agyou (阿形) dog, Ungyo (吽形) dog, Udaijinn (右大臣), Sadaijin (左大臣), Okagamiyama (御鏡山), Hihune (曳舟), Odoriyama (踊り山).  On the Odoriyama Mikoshi, there are a lot of children. These Mikoshi were created as small portable shrines, so people say that “the shrine is running around the town!” when they see citizens carry Mikoshi. This style makes Hayaosa Hachimangu Autumn Festival unique in Japan.

The Process of the Festival

Citizens carry Mikoshi with Holy Spirit from Hayaosa Hachimangu to Koryo Port. After people finish putting Mikoshi in ships, they depart to the coast in front of Matsubara Otabisho, which is the place to preserve the God. And then, people perform the ritual on the ships. At that time, you can see a spectacular view of 24 boats in one row. After that, people on the boats throw mochi to the audience (it is called mochi maki in Japanese). You might get lucky if you catch a mochi! It is fun indeed! When all practices are finished, people take Mikoshi back to Hayaosa Hachimangu.

Details and Access

Date: the first Sunday in October every year

Place: Hayaosa Hachimangu Shrine

Address: 3 Chome-4 Murozumi, Hikari-shi, Yamaguchi-ken

Homepage (Japanese Only)

Access: by Sanyo Shinkansen (山陽新幹線)

Get off shinkansen at the Tokushima station

Take the train to Sanyo Honsen Iwakuni direction

Get off the train at Hikari station

Take the JR bus to Murozumi Park direction

Get off the bus at Murozumi

Closing Remarks

Hayaosa Hachimangu Autumn Festival is so unique because of its style of carrying more than 10 Mikoshi, circling the ocean on ships with the Holy Spirit, and its history. This shows that people in Murozumi cherish their God, the ocean, and the lovely and beautiful hometown. Also, the people appreciate the sea that provides an abundance of seafood. You can feel how important the ocean is in Japan as a small Island country if you join this festival!

All images are courtesy of Yamaguchi Prefectural Tourism Federation


Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!


Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!


What is Mikoshi?


If you were ever wondering about Japanese festivals, you probably came across Mikoshi. Mikoshi is an important part of any Japanese, religious matsuri, and it is hard to even imagine a traditional festival scene without it. If you would like to know more about Japanese traditional festival culture and find out what Mikoshi is, the next article is for you. Please click on the link to check it out!


Hi, my name is Lala. I am proud of Japanese culture, which is so unique and wonderful. I also love writing in English! I’m going to show you how great is Japan!

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