Dongi

(どんぎ)

Toyokawa City, Aichi Pref.

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About the festival

Dongi is held as a part of a fire prevention ritual. After the prayers and sutra recitation finish, the highlight of the festival begins. Men wearing masks of a white fox and Tengu (long-nosed goblin)—said to be messengers of god—chase children around with Shumoku (wooden hammer) and Yatsude (Japanese aralia) leaf fan in their hands. Children who have been caught get their hands and faces smeared with crimson red paint known as Benigara, soaked into the Shumoku. The white fox, red and blue Tengu all dressed in solemn attire appear divine yet slightly scary at the same time—causing some children to blubber and run in fear. The festival takes place at Choshoji Temple and its surrounding areas. A chase between the white fox, Tengu and children who don’t want to get paint smeared on them takes place all over the town. Dongi is a very humorous and unique festival, in which the lucky ones to get their faces painted are said to remain healthy throughout the coming year. It is also a heart warming sight to see the parents holding up their young children, trying to get them painted. Kids run around, some laughing while others in fear, or crying, yet they all smile in the end, with their painted red faces.

131 Reh Dongi

Things to do

1. You cannot miss the children’s variety of rich expressions!

131 Re1 1 Dongi

The expressions on children’s faces are also something to see. Them dashing out of the Tengu’s way, romping around everywhere brings energy and smiles to the entire town. Tourists frantically chase them too, in order to get these scenes on camera. Pay attention to all the children’s different facial expressions!

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates Held on December 17th (Sun), 2017
    Held annually on the 3rd Sunday of December
  • Place Choshoji Temple and its surrounding areas
  • General Participation Anybody can participate
  • International Reception and Info. Pamphlet by Toyokawa City Tourism Association lists a brief description in English, Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese
  • Wi-Fi Unavailable
  • Restrooms Unavailable
  • Other useful Info. Unavailable
  • Contact Choshoji Temple
    0533-75-2475

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Access to Toyokawa City

[nearest station]
Aichi-Mito Station, JR Tokaido Main Line

Festival Location 
17-1 Kitaura, Shimosawaki, Mitocho, Toyokawa City
15 min walk from Aichi-Mito Station

Makoto Terauchi
Writer
Born in Hyogo. My morning routing is reading MANAGA 30 min.