FK4 Futaba Aoi and Mituba Aoi

Futaba Aoi of the plant   Tanaka Shrine Crest Mitsuha Aoi and Omikuji Mitsuha Aoi

Mitsukuni Mito family crest (grandson of Ieyasu)   Katsura leaf

The Shinto crest of Kamigamo Shrine is Futaba Aoi. It seems that the plant name is often written as Futaba Aoi (Asarum caulescens). Aoi is called “Afuhi”, which means “meet” and “afu”, and “hi” is also a word that indicates the power of God.

 The festival means the day when we meet God and Buddha on the extraordinary day, and the oldest festival is Aoi Matsuri. Aoi Matsuri, one of the Three Great Festivals of Kyoto, is officially called “Kamosai”, but it is called “Aoi Matsuri” because people and ox carts are decorated with Aoi.

Aoi Matsuri decorates katsura leaves and Aoi leaves. Both are plants that grow naturally only in clean water. Katsura leaves are very similar in shape to Aoi leaves, but Katsura grows toward the heavens and Aoi grows naturally near the surface of the earth. The festival where the heavens and the earth meet are the Aoi Matsuri.

Katsura is a symbol of “yang, heaven, man”, and Aoi is a symbol of “shadow, earth, woman”. At the Aoi Matsuri, “Kikkei” is used to decorate the heads and chests of all the people involved in the festival by forming katsura leaves and twigs with Aoi, and also decorating the waist and ox cart. It has the meaning of walking with God.

Unfortunately, the Aoi Matsuri in 2022 has been canceled, but the number of Aoi leaves used on the day of the festival is more than 10,000, and the number of Aoi leaves grow naturally in the mountains. “Aoi Project” activities are being promoted in the current situation where the number is decreasing. Even now, we are securing Aoi leaves in a project to grow Aoi leaves around Kamigamo Shrine.

Did you know that there is a trefoil Aoi for this Futaba Aoi (Asarum caulescens)? It is the family crest of Ieyasu Tokugawa, Mitsuba. It is a family crest that was in the inro of Mito Komon. The company crest is likely to be said in various ways, but the details are unknown because the documents have disappeared due to repeated disasters such as the Onin War and the disturbance of civilization.

Tanaka Shrine is located in Tanaka, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. It is a shrine that has been worshiped by the inhabitants as a local god of Tanaka village for a long time, and the details of Soken are unknown because the documents have disappeared. The “Tanaka god” described in the ” Japanese Three Generation Jitsuroku” in 863 is the Tanaka shrine, and there is no doubt that it has existed for a long time.

Ieyasu made the family crest this three-leafed Aoi, “He made it a three-leafed Aoi instead of the two-leaf Futaba Soi (Asarum caulescens) that it is located above the imperial court,” I heard from a shrine priest. However, recently, since Ieyasu was a shrine where this Tanaka shrine has cherished the history of Japan since the Jomon period, it has become clear that Ieyasu entered the Tanaka shrine and received the company crest of “Mitsuba Aoi”.

Event calendar on May

Schedule Event Place
1st May~the end of Sep. Kamo-river floor opening Along the Kamo River between Nijo and Gojo
1st May  Kamo Horse Racing Footstep Ceremony Kamigamo Shrine
1st ~4th Senbon Enmado Dainenbutsu Kyogen Senbon Enmado Injoji Temple
1st ~4th Fujimori Festival Fujinomori Shrine
1st ~24th Kamogawa dance Pontocho Kabu kyorenjo
3rd  Yabusame Ritual Shimogamo Shrine
4th Saio Dai Woman Misogi Ritual Kamigamo Shrine or Shimogamo Shrine (held in replacement)
2022 was canceled
5th   Kamo Horse Racing Kamigamo Shrine
Sunday between 5th to 15th Imamiya Festival Imamiya Shrine (stopped in 2022))
8th Sanin Shrine regular festival Yoshida Shrine
12th Mikage Festival Mikage Shrine -Shimogamo Shrine
15th Aoi Festival Parade Kyoto Imperial Palace -Shimogamo Shrine -Kamigamo Shrine
2022 was canceled
15th Night of the full moon

The 2022’s full moon is 15th  

May full moon festival Kurama -temple (General worship is canceled in 22 years.
24th (this year) Matsuo Festival Reduction Festival
Sunday on middle of May
Matsuo Taisha
The third Sunday Mifune Festival Oi river


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