Niramekko Obisha Festival in In Komagata Shrine in Chiba



Festival Breakdown

There is such a unique festival at “ Komagata Dai Jinja(駒形大神社) (Komagata Shrine) in Chiba Prefecture.

What is unique?

Two people sit facing each other. Each make the other person smile, and the first to laugh is the loser. The loser must drink the big cup of sake!

Why to do that?

At the “Komagata Daijinja” in Chiba prefecture, there is a festival called “Niramekko Obisha”.

What’s Obisha?

“Obisha” is a ritual of shooting arrows at the beginning of the year, and thereby to telling how rich or poor the harvest and fortunes will be in upcoming year.
“Niramekko obisha“ is one of that rituals.

Things To Do and See

Actually, “Niramekko” ceremony is end of the festival of celebrating New Year.
First , from 8 in the morning , Ujiko (Shrine Parishners) start making “Shinto straw festoon”(しめ縄; shimenawa) and decorations, to put around the main and subsidiary shrines. Then , people involved toast using big cups to pray for the safety of the town and richness of grains. Next they make Mochi (rice cake) while drinking sake, to pray for the health all of them. Adults and children hit the rice cakes together.

If you hit a rice cake, that year will never get cold. So when hit a rice cake, everyone say “Thank you!”.

And finally they start “Niramekko” ritual.
2 people sit down face to face. The laughing person is the loser,therefore that man must drink sake. It will be repeated over and over again.
It is told that the origin of this Shinto ritual is in 1859..

Detales and Access

This festival is held on January 20th every year.

Komagata Daijinjya (駒形大神社)
4-2757 Ono-cho , Ichikawa City , Chiba Prefecture

JR Soubu-Line, Motoyamata Station, from “North Exit” take bus “Shieireien”『市営霊園』 “Doushokubutuen” 『動植物園』then get off at ”Komagatadaijinjya”『駒形大神社』 and walk for 3 minutes.

Ichikawa City Tourism Association
TEL: 047-711-1142
Parking is available
If there are a lot of visitors, it may not be possible to enter events within the company office.

Other Things to Do

“Honkouji ’s Butsujin”『本光寺の仏神』.

There are 4 gods and Buddha at the “Honkouji” in Ono-cho.
“Kaiun Ono Myoken Daibosatsu”『開運大野妙見大菩薩. It said that this god govern s the “Polar Star and Big Dipper”. He is wearing an armor. This god has excellent viewing power, he can see “good and evil” and “truth”of things .

“Kindaikokuten”『金大黒天』is the golden god of wealth.

“GensyanmiyorimasawakousongI ”『源三位頼政和光尊儀』is the god of of separation.

Closing Remarks

Actually, not many people know this unique festival of Komagata Daijinja.
But many of us like sake very much! So if you have a chance to visit there, you should try “Niramekko Obisha”and drink a lot of sake!

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