Kanagawa immaterial racial cultural assets (1983)


 Every year, on the third Monday of July (umi no hi), in the full blaze of the sun, a number of sacred palanquins (mikoshi) from various shrines gather together at Shonan Beach, and a magnificent summer festival takes place. This is the well-known Hamaori Festival, and is also called "The Purification (misogi)" or "Dawn Festival (Akatsuki no Saiten)".
 It is said that the God in the palanquins send for divine power by purifying Himself in water, and with this power He invites other Gods of different powers for celebration. The Hamaori Festival is said to have originated in the second year of Kenkyu (1191), but this is not certain. There is an imaginable old story, some 700 to 800 years old, which tells of the ancient origin.

 The beginning of this festival at Shonan Beach is to be found in the ninth year of Tempo (1839) when the sacred palanquin of Samukawa Shrine was carried away and lost in the Banyu River on the way back from the Kokuhu Festival. The palanquin later reappeared up on the Nango Beach of Chigasaki City. Thus ever since, the festival has been held in this place. "Hama" of Hamaori Festival is believed to mean "Descent of God". There exists an ariea in one corner of the ritual place at Nango where the Great Samukawa God was supposed to have descended.
 From another view point, the Great Samukawa God has been worshiped as a cultivator of Sagami Plain, therefore Nango Beach, at the estuary of the Sagami River, becomes a base of God's ancestor.

International Association of Chigasaki   Chigasaki Breeze No.68 (June-Aug. 2017 )