Japanese mythological storytelling often weaves tales of great gods and goddesses with real-life historical events which people can relate to.
Perhaps because of this reason, celebrations of Japanese myths and legends have always been a part of everyday life, and young and old alike eagerly anticipate their arrival every year.
From Sun Goddess to Human
Among the greatest of Japanese legends is the tale of 6th century BC Emperor Jimmu, the first emperor of Japan, who was storied to be a descendant of the Amaterasu, the sun goddess.
He set to sea from Mimitsu port north of Miyazaki, sailed north to capture Yamato (today’s Nara) and established the Japan that we all know.
Miyazaki Shrine Grand Festival
Every year on the last Saturday and Sunday in October, he is celebrated by the people in Miyazaki in the Grand Festival processions.
On the first day of the festival, large processions start from the shrine and head towards Miyazaki port through downtown. On the second day, they trace the same route back to the shrine.
At night, Tachibana-dori, the main street downtown, becomes pedestrian-only and is filled with stage events, street dancers and vendors offering delicacies.
Pictures below were taken from a previous procession passing by our downtown office.