Japan Journal of Sport Anthropology
Online ISSN : 2186-1935
Print ISSN : 1345-4358
ISSN-L : 1345-4358
A study on Kami-sumo handed down by Hachimankohyou-jinjya
Akira Fujimoto
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Keywords: Kamisumo, Faith, Expression

2001 Volume 2000 Issue 2 Pages 55-73


The religious festival called Kami-sumo has been handed down by Hachimankohyou-jinjya at Yoshitomi town in Fukuoka prefecture. Kami-sumo is acted by using puppet called Kugutsu. It is carried out every forth year. In the day of the festival, Kami-sumo is played on the sea in the morning, and in the evening, it is played on Shinbuden located in Hachimankohyou-jinjya.
The subject of this study is to describe the story of Kami-sumo and the expression that composes them today, from a viewpoint of historical description in anthropology. The myths, the data of hearing investigation and the image materials were used in this study to describe Kami-sumo.
The myths to deal with this study were found in Hachimankohyou-jinjya and Usa-jinguu. And the data of hearing investigation were collected in Hachimankohyou-jinjya in June and July, 1999. And the image materials were taken pictures in 1988 and 1996.
The following conclusions were derived;
1) Hatimankohyou-jinjya was originally composed of Okinaga-datjinguu and Kohyou-daimyoujin, but soon these two Shinto shrine were put together. The ritual for repose of souls in the sea was the first form of Kugutsu-sinji, and the transfer of the place of Kugutsu-sinji caused a change of meaning of Kugutsu-sinji.
2) The change of social system caused gradual increase of manipulators who do not have religious relationship with Hatimankohyou-jinjya. And these changes have caused the situation that it must particularly give sacredness to religious festival. For these reasons, the practice of Kami-sumo has been composed of the contents to touch God and to succeed to how to manipulate Kugutsu today.
3) The story to deepen and reconfirm faith in God Sumiyoshi is unfolding by Kami-sumo. The absolute strength of Sumiyoshi is expressed through his various techniques, his quick motion and his physical toughness. In other words, the various techniques, quick motion and physical toughness show the very important elements that composed God's sacredness.
At the end, Kami-sumo has been continued in Hatimankohyou-jinjya as a Sinto ritual that is decorated with myths. The structure that sumo is closely concerned with a story about strength of god is maintained on Kami-sumo even today, while the ritual aspect is agitated by change of manipulators.

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