Osaijinsai 御塞神祭 Yamagata (Mar.)
Osaijinsai is an unusual matsuri which has long been held at Kumano Shrine in Hirashio in the middle of the first month of the lunar calendar. The objects of worship are carved from pine in the shape of a phallus, prayers are said, and they are imbued with a spirit. After the ritual, the objects of worship are scattered from a height over the 300 or so local people who gather, and the people heroically scramble for the objects. It is said that the objects of worship hold various benefits, which include being blessed with children and bumper crop harvests. The participants scramble to get one of them sometimes for over 30 minutes for their wives and families.
Saijin Sama Mae, Kumano Jinja, Hirashio, Sagae City, Yamagata
Get off at Sagae Station, JR Aterazawa line, then take a taxi for approx. 15 min.
Approx. 5 min. from Sagae smart interchange of the Yamagata Expressway.