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久富観音堂盆綱曳き|BONTSUNAHIKI

福岡県筑後市久富の熊野神社で行われる伝統行事「久富観音堂盆綱曳き」(県指定無形民俗文化財)。保存会によると、盆綱曳きは江戸時代初期に始まったとされる施餓鬼(せがき)行事で、地獄に落ち苦しむ亡者を盆の一日だけ鬼が綱を引き上げ、極楽浄土で食べ物を与えて供養する意味が込められている。全身に煤を塗った子ども達が鬼に扮し、数メートルの綱を曳いて町内を練り歩く。

Held at Kumano Shrine in Hisatomi, Chikugo, Fukuoka Prefecture, this festival is a prefecturally-designated important intangible cultural property. This service for the dead is believed to have begun in the early Edo period, and is based on the rite that on one day of O-Bon, demons lift the suffering departed out of the Buddhist hells and bring them to the Pure Land, where they are nourished with food. In this way, it is a traditional service for suffering spirits. The rite is kept alive through a local preservation organ. Children cover themselves head-to-toe in soot and dress up as demons and encircle the town in a several meter long rope.

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