Yoshizen's Blog

Chichibu yo-matsuri / Zen Ethos

Those are the Photos I found in a photo blog Tokyobling.

Tokyobling is reporting from Japan very actively with quite vivid nice photos

and those are from Chichibu yo-matsuri (秩父夜祭) of Saitama (埼玉) =

next north to Tokyo.

chichibuyomatsuri_kids_float_4652 = Tokyobling's Blog

Virtually all the traditional festival in Japan is for the local Shinto God.

Hence, Chichibu Yo-matsri is for the Guardian God / Chichibu Daimyojin (秩父大明神) who

said to be the abater of the wolf in Chichibu mountain.

Because of the Wolf God, the festival held in the night, hence Yo-matsuri

( yo or yoru mean night)

Being as a Mountain God, Chichibu Daimyojin is the guardian of the mountain people /

Matagi (またぎ) and Sanka (山窩) all over Japan, who’s occupation was hunting and

wood-crafts, and their descendants too. (Matagi and Sanka remained only in the legend now

still, all the shoe makers and leather crafts men said to be originated from the Yoshino (吉野)

mountain, behind the Nara city.  As they’ve been the supplier of the foot-ware and the parts

of armories to the Nobles and Samurai alike thousand of years as a tradition.

When I did (or helped) a research of the Industrial Sociology study, I met a group of the

construction workers who was the Sanka from Chichibu mountain.   In the site, they live

according to their religion, wearing their own white uniform and praying their God everyday

= they had their own shrine of the Chichibu Daimyojin brought with them ! )

chichibuyomatsuri_kids_float_4693 = Tokyobling's blog

In this stone-age, I have no idea how many people is worshiping

Chichibu Daimyojin now, still in the photographs, I found pretty strong Ethos

is clearly remaining and prevailing.

See the head band of the grandfather holding a baby in the photo.

Head-band was extremely neatly tied.  —–Then, see the other’s.   Not as neat as the

grandfather, still, all of them tied their band in the same style. = All the people sharing the

same Ethos therefore even a cheeky computer-gamer start to behave in a discipline of a

traditional young man without him even noticing it.  (It’s a spirit of the Matsuri.  🙂 )

(Hence, Carl Jung called it Collective Unconsciousness)


To tie a head-band in THE occasion, is a strong Japanese tradition.

It is not only tie a hair or stop the sweat getting to eyes, it is to tie the MIND.

For a determination or concentration of the SELF, but also to declare or display it to others.

We tie a head-band with the Determination to go with the fate.

In this reason, even the Sward Master Musashi Miyamoto (said to be) tied

a head-band when he fought with his arch rival Kojiro Sasaki. (and Musashi won)

Because of its Samurai and Military connotation, western people has a kind of fear toward

Japanese tie their head-band though, it is not so far from a Hindu people tie a string on

their wrist. —– Normally, a head-band was tied on one’s back to prevent its loose-end

sagging down to block eyes.   So that, tie it up on front may be a Shinto tradition

( in a Matsuri, it is always on front) though, what grandfather’s head-band impressed me

was, its neatness.    Functionally, it may be the same though, as it got to be tied in anyway,

do the better.   It wouldn’t take more than extra one minute yet the difference is clear.

This is the mind set of the Zen.  (Zen is a Mind-set to concentrate and DO the

task better, what ever it may occur in the Life, its mean any body’s any Life,

regardless whether it was a Shinto practice or Christian’s job.

DO the things better and achieve better Life is the Universal Aim of the man.

This is the reason why Zen was often regarded to be Atheist or Non-religion.)

(And this is the reason why Japanese products were often over quality and hard to

compete with cheap copy in its price.  😀 )


What so ever the life, you live and die.   In anyway, it would be more or

less the same.   STILL, aiming the better and do the best, regardless whether

it makes any difference or not, is the way of the Zen.   DO it and DO the BEST.

(down to the minute details, keep DOING its best, this Mind-set is the matter,

not necessary the result, since it is a Pathway to aim the goal =

but not the goal itself — goal / Nirvana would BE given by the Fate or Dharma)

By doing so, you wouldn’t loose a bit.   Since, you couldn’t possibly loose anything because,

you yourself is not exists in the first place.   Hence, you don’t need to afraid of ANYTHING,

even a death. The person lives here isn’t you but the Darma (Rule of the Universe),

hence you can live with full confidence to be the Dharma or a part of it.

This is what [Selfless] really mean (not sacrifice the self  by own idea) and What

Lord Buddha taught. —– or What he revealed,  What the Dharma is.




6 Responses

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  1. bentehaarstad said, on March 15, 2013 at 17:09

    This is another world for me. But I find it interesting and good to know that some traditions and rituals are still excisting.

    • yoshizen said, on March 15, 2013 at 17:47

      In fact all the Ethos / mind set of Japanese is in their subconscious, originated thousands of years ago.
      Since there never change of ruler or religion no need to teach and no Bible kind of fresh reading exists.
      Its basis are in Shinto and Buddhism though, as it sublimated so deep, people is not aware why they do it
      or feel like it. Like unwritten invisible law, it couldn’t be objectively examined, it’s impossible to assess
      or manipulate, hence impossible to change. Tradition just continues.
      —- new culture, fashion , technology may come, still their deep mind basis / Ethos is the same.
      It’s hard to say whether it is good or bad 😀

  2. jag said, on March 16, 2013 at 00:11


  3. elenacaravela said, on March 16, 2013 at 00:14

    These are fabulous, joyful photos Yoshi.

    • yoshizen said, on March 16, 2013 at 03:31

      Yah, aren’t they.
      Tokyobling did very good job.

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