It serves to draw people away from their city existence and reconnect them to nature. The belief is that by holding Onbashira every seven years, humans never completely lose their connection with nature.
A very dangerous and exciting part of Onbashira is the Yamadashi ( 山出し )festival. Huge trees atop a mountain are cut down and brought to the town.
This part of the festival is extremely dangerous because the trees are slid down the mountain side while people try to ride it without falling off. Every year several people are injured or killed during this part of Onbashira. Many young men ride the Onbashira to prove their bravery and show their devotion to the gods.
The Satobiki ( 里曳き )festival is held exactly one month after the Yamadashi festival. The trees are paraded into town and are slowly raised while the men are on them. Throughout the festivities, many traditional folk songs are sung to give homage to the gods and spirit and encouragement to all participants, particularly during the hauling and the raising of the trees.
The Satobiki festival part of Onbashira was included as part of the 1998 Nagano Olympics Opening Ceremony.
- Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka-
CELEBRATING 35YEARS OF TAIKO IN AMERIKA
-STICKING TO ONE TASK UNTIL THE END-
～ 2004年諏訪大社御柱祭 ～
The best thing to do that will always be in front of you.
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