Every third weekend of May, the Sanja Matsuri is held. One of the most popular festivals in Tokyo, portable shrines are paraded around eastern Tokyo for a period of 3 days. Musicians, dancers, and performers put on shows alongside the parade, and stalls are set up offering Japanese delicacies. We wonder, are the Nyan Kashi served up at these stalls?
The intricate tattoos of SyndiCats: Nyakuza
While for many visitors, the highlights of the Matsuri are the food and performances, did you know that the Sanja Matsuri is also known as the Yakuza Festival. Members of the Yakuza participate in the festivities, and for some, seeing the Yakuza flaunt their intricate tattoos is part of the draw of the festival.
What happens during the Sanja Matsuri?
While lots of festivities happen during the Sanja Matsuri, the main event is the parading of mikoshi. Over the span of the weekend, over 100 small mikoshis are carried around the streets to bring about good luck. It is believed that it blesses the town with great harvests, of both crops and fish, as well as helping illnesses get better. On the final day of the matsuri, the main 3 mikoshis are carried around on different routes through the Asakusa district.
Photo from gotokyo.org
What is a mikoshi?
A mikoshi is a sacred religious palanquin, also known as a portable Shinto shrine. Shinto followers believe that it serves as the vehicle to transport a deity in Japan while moving between the main shrine and a temporary shrine during a festival or when moving to a new shrine.
Celebrate the Sanja Matsuri with SyndiCats: Nyakuza!
This third weekend of May, SyndiCats: Nyakuza comes out of the shadows to celebrate the Sanja Matsuri. Showing off his elaborate tattoos and donning the traditional happi and fundoshi, he parades his power for all to see. Beware his katana; he isn’t afraid to off anyone who wrongs him - even in daylight.
SyndiCats is a series of in-house designs by Mighty Jaxx that reimagines our favorite cuddly felines as fearsome members of underground crime syndicates all over the world. No cat or human can stand in their way.
Read also: Designing SyndiCats: Purrface
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