Part 1: Digging of large pillars

Ginza, Tsukiji, Nihonbashi are the places you hear the most when you are visiting Tokyo.
When you look carefully there are so much historical spots you can find within the central district of Tokyo.Right next to these central district, there is a town called Tsukudajima which still maintains somewhat nostalgic Edo period atmosphere.

東京都中央区といえば日本の首都東京の中心で大都会、銀座、築地、日本橋・・・そんな街に隣接した場所に江戸情緒漂う佃島という街がある。
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In this town, they have a shrine named Sumiyoshi Jinja and they have a grand festival called Tsukuda festival which is held and fully conducted every 3 years which started in Edo period. Sumiyoshi Jinja is dedicated to sea gods and it has mysterious yet dynamic exciting energy during this festival, and I would like to tell you stories about this festival with my photographs.

そこには住吉神社という神社があり、江戸の昔から受け継がれた三年に一度の大きな祭り「住友神社例大祭」がある。それは神秘的で躍動的、厳粛で豪快、見る人誰もが魅了される素晴らしいお祭りなのでここでご紹介したいと思います。
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This Tsukuda festival started in year 1798 during Tokugawa regime. It started with digging up large pillars from the bottom of the canal which is surrounded around the shrine.

この祭りは、江戸時代後期寛政拾年(1798年)徳川幕府より建立を許された大幟柱を掘り起こす事から始まる。この幟柱は腐敗から守るために佃島の運河の底の土の中に埋められ200年以上も守り続けられて来た物なのである。

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The pillars were buried in the bottom of the canal to protect it from getting decomposed from the air and has been protected there for over 200 years. To watch these local men who have been inherited the traditional duties to dig up the pillars every 3 years are just phenomenal.

空気に触れぬよう運河の底にシッカリと隙間なく埋められた、大柱や抱木を掘り起こすのは想像以上に大変な作業で、伝統を守り続ける男たちの強い志がひしひしと感じられる光景であった。
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MASAHIRO

MASAHIRO MURAKOSHI

Photographer

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