Religion in Modern Asia Newsletter

Fatal Fetes


The Onbashira Matsuri ("sacred pillar festival") was observed in early April 1992 at the Suwa Shrine in Nagano Prefecture. Held once every six years, the festival is particularly well known for the rite in which numerous men ride huge tree trunks as they are pulled down a mountain slope. While the rite involves considerable danger, there seems to be no shortage of willing participants. One death and numerous injuries were reported at this year's observance, but there are apparently few calls for any restriction on dangerous aspects of the festival.

-- Apr 1, 1992, INOUE Nobutaka

Last updated: 2001/11/28 14:33:45

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