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Tamatori-sai festival / Tamaseseri [Hakozaki Shrine]

East Area

Hakozaki Shrine is one of the three great Hachiman shrines in Japan along with Iwashimizu Shrine in Kyoto and Usa Shrine in Oita, and it holds annual shrine ritual, “Tamatori-sai festival” (or “Tamaseseri”) stringently as well as splendidly.

It is well known in Japan and one of the three great festivals in Kyushu, and it’s said that it started around 600 years ago, during Muromachi period.

Two wooden balls of Ying and Yang which have been purified at the Tamaarai Ceremony starting at 1 p.m. are brought to the subordinate shirine, Tamatori Ebisu Shrine located about 250 meters to the east. After the festival, the Yang ball is given to half-naked and loincloth-clad Seriko, and the Tamaseseri starts.

It is said that people can ward off evils and receive good fortune if they touch the ball, so while being drenched with water, loincloth-clad men unfold a heated battle trying to capture the Yang ball, and then head over to the Hongu Shrine.

Later, the ball is given to the chief priest waiting under the tower gate, and finally both the Ying and Yang balls are put together and dedicated in front of the god and the festival ends.

This ball battle in two teams, Land Team and Sea Team, is held also to tell good and bad luck for the coming year. If the land team wins, a good harvest is predicted; if the sea team wins, a good catch is predicted.

– Date and Time
January 3 (Fri), 2020 13:00 – around 14:30
Tamaarai Ceremony starts in front of Emaden Hall.
After the ceremony, the balls are brought to the subordinate shirine, Tamatori Ebisu Shrine located about 250 meters to the east, then Tamaseseri starts after the festival there. Men carry the ball over to the Hongu Shrine while competing for it, put in main shrine, and Tamaseseri ends.

– Venue
Between Tamatori Ebisu Shrine and Hakozaki Shrine

– Stalls
Approx. 120 stalls

*To everyone who is taking photos
  For safety, bring in and use of stepladder, stepstool, and other similar items is prohibited.

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