Shibushi Buddha Festival (志布志お釈迦まつり)

Osumi Area Local Performing Art and Traditional Event

The Buddha Festival celebrates the birthday of Siddhartha Gautama, which is believed to be April 8. The festival is held primarily at Homan-ji, a temple which is said to have been established in the 8th century and is dedicated to the worship of Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy). The date April 8, “shigatsu yohka” in standard Japanese, is pronounced in Kagoshima dialect as “shigajjoka”, the local name for the festival. The Buddha Festival is one of the three biggest festivals in Kagoshima.
The Buddha Festival has been celebrated in grand fashion since the Edo Period (1603−1868). Currently, it is held on April 29 (Greenery Day, a national holiday).
Since Homan-ji offers blessings for easy childbirth, the festival features a parade of brides riding on horses decorated with bells. The lively proceedings also include a procession of small children carried in swing-like baskets and a parade of warriors marching through town.
Homan-ji, which is formally named “Shingon Risshu Hizan Mikkyoin Homan-ji”, is said to have been founded in the 720s on the order of Emperor Shomu to protect the country. The temple was rebuilt by Shinsen Shonin in 1316; a statue of Nyoirin Kannon (the Bodhisattva Cintamanicakra) sculpted by Unkei is said to have then been moved from Saidai-ji (Homan-ji’s mother temple) in Nara and become the principal image of the rebuilt Homan-ji. Although the temple was abolished following its destruction in the persecution of Buddhism in the late 19th century, the current Kannon temple was built on the grounds of the former Homan-ji in 1935.

Basic Information

Address 鹿児島県志布志市志布志町帖6539
Telephone Number 099-472-8028(お釈迦祭り実行委員会(志布志市観光特産品協会))
Business Days/ Hours Event Days
29 Apr
Website Visit Japanese Website
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