Yesterday was the Osaka Tenjin Matsuri festival. It starts at a local shrine with a procession through the city streets. There were dancers in Heian era costumes, Shinto priests on horses, and mishoko, portable shrines that carry the gods. At the river they piled into barges and the procession continued up and down the river. There was one boat that resembled a penteconter and it fascinated me because it was powered by master oarsman who could turn on a dime. A spectacular sight.
According to the Japan Guide: "Tenjin Matsuri is the festival of the Tenmangu Shrine and honors its principle deity Sugawara Michizane, the deity of scholarship."
How fitting, I thought. And if I had not already given my heart and soul to the Lady, this is one deity I would be honored to serve.
Here are a few pictures: