Festival danjiri carving, only one made-to-order product ISHIMIZU Carving
Danjiri crafter dedicated to Saijo Matsuri in Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture(Saijo Matsuri is the general term for the autumn festivals of Isono Shrine, Iwaoka Shrine, Kamo Shrine and Iizumi Shrine).
He has been producing danjiri since the age of 18.As a young crafter, he had inherited such carving techniques as the intricate openwork on the Saijo Danjiri and had been certified as a traditional craftsman of Ehime in 2002.
The danjiri carvings feature dragons,flowers,birds and scenes from Japanese historical stories
There are currently more than 130 Saijo Danjiri, of which Ishimizu has produced more than 30.
Amongst the autumn festivals that occur nationwide, Saijo Matsuri boasts an unprecedented scale and magnificence that attracts crowd of tourists every year.
1989 Los Angeles JAPAN EXPO ‘89
1997 The 5th Regional Traditional Performing Arts Award / Regional Traditional Performing Arts tilization Center
2006 Ehime Traditional Craftsman Certification / Ehime Prefecture
2021 The Ehime Prefecture Governor’s Award in / Ehime Prefecture
What are the Saijo Danjiri?
They are the festival offerings of the Ujigami(local deity) and Ujiko(parishioner) at Saijo Matsuri, the annual autumn festival of Isono Shrine and Iwaoka Shrine in Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture.
Every year on October 15th and 16th, the patron god of Isono Shrine rides a sacred religious palanquin and moves throughout the city, greeting the parishioners.
The parishioners express gratitude for the harvest by dedicating the danjiri and mikoshi (drum floats in this region)to the local god, welcoming the god and letting everyone know that the god will pay visits throughout the city. This venerable festival has continued since the Edo period over 300 years ago.
Features of the Saijo Danjiri
Carved from Japanese cypress(hinoki),Saijo danjiri have been carried on the shoulders of the local people for the long time. Therefore, it was necessary to carve using openwork techniques and the relatively light cypress wood, which requires advanced skill.
The danjiri are mainly covered with fine carvings of historical stories of Japan, such as those about the Genpei War, flowers, and birds. Depending on the sunlight in the daytime and the firelight of lanterns at night, the carved figures and dragons look completely different.
Without using any nails, the craftsman and local assemble the danjiri from pieces of wood using wedges called kusabi.
A lively dedication of each danjiri is a highlight of Saijo Matsuri.
Saijo Ehime Japan