Kure Hachimangu Shrine Autumn Festival: Omikoku-san

The Kure Hachimangu Shrine Autumn Festival is one of the three largest festivals in Kochi Prefecture. 
It is a Shinto festival that takes place in honor of the god, Hachiman for the good autumn harvest. 

On the first day of the festival, a magnificent procession called Omikoku-san takes place. During Omikoku-san, a large bundle of bamboo stalks is set on fire. A group of men carry this torch and march in the direction of the shrine, warding away evil. After the torch reaches the shrine, it is hurled onto the shrine grounds. People then quickly race to pick up the bamboo stalks, as they are considered to be charms against evil.

Also, during Omikoku-san, Kenka-Daiko (“battle drums”), an event where two groups carrying gigantic drums suspended on poles rush into each other, takes place. As they do so, the sound of the drums can be heard across the town. 

While this year, the procession will not be taking place, those directly involved with the sacred Shinto ritual will be proceeding with the ceremony as usual.