This festival is believed to have started in Heian period, around 10th century. The original purpose is to ease a wrath of Shinto deities. In those days a lot of natural disasters and femines occurred in Kyoto, so that a lot of people died. Peple believed such an ordeal resulted from a curse by God. So people began with pray for God by showing a lot of gorgeous sacred icons like portable shrines and shinny spears and the like. Originally the number of Yamahokos was 66 , but nowadays about 30 Yamahokos, decorated movable carriages, pulled by town community people, parade on the Kyoto streets in every July. It is extravagant and teriffic festival lasting 20 days every July. Uniquely one of Yamahokos has a decorated textile written an pictute from the Old Testament. It is iteresting to know that because Christianity affected Kyoto in the 17th-18th century.
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