The festival 'Mushito Himatsuri'



'Mushi' means insect. ‘Okuri' means seeing it off. Thus ‘Mushiokuri' means 'seeing insect off'.


The festival ‘Mushiokuri' is one of the festival which aims to protect rice from insect.

It makes believe that farmers take away harmful insect from village.


In old times, large swarm of harmful insects came to Northern Tsugaru district, and it made rice field perish. Therefore, peoples started ceremony to pray to be good harvest.


This is origin of Mushiokuri festival.


There is the legend that Mushiokuri festival has been held since 3000 years ago, when agriculture had been started in Japan .


The ‘Insect'(Mushi) is made of straw, with head which is made of wood. Size of Mushi is 1m to 10m.


In old times, in villages, people hanged imitation of insect on big tree which was in gateway of each village. After this ceremony, people floated small imitations of insect on river. Next, festival ‘Sanaburi' (dancing) was held. After dancing festival, peoples hanged imitation of insect on tree again.


Later times, the festival ‘Sanaburi' became small scale year by year.


But Goshogawara city resurrected this festival with decorating more magnificent.


Now, imitations of insect are no less than 10 meter long. Imitations which look like dragon breathe out big blaze when climax of the festival comes.


View Hokuto Ground (main field of the festival) in a larger map