Akumi-Kambe Shinmeisha Shrine's annual festival "Toyohashi Oni Matsuri" is a bizarre festival held annually on the 10th and 11th of February. It began shortly after the shrine was erected in the year 940, which makes Toyohashi Oni Matsuri a historic festival continued for over 1,000 years.
The highlight of the festival "Aka-Oni & Tengu's Karakai" (duel between the red demon and the long-nosed tengu goblin) held on the second day is a Dengaku performance (traditional folk dance and/or stunts) based on a story in the Japanese mythology. The performance showcases a humorous battle between a short-tempered and mischievous red demon and a tengu (long-nosed goblin) who knows Budo (martial arts). After the red demon is defeated, he runs out of the shrine into the town, scattering "Tankiri-ame" candy and white powder (flour) to make up for his guilt. It is said that if you eat this "Tankiri-ame" candy (made with soy beans, sesame, ginger, etc.) and catch some of the scattered white powder (both believed to exorcize bad omen), you will stay healthy throughout the coming summer season. Toyohashi Oni Matsuri is truly a unique festival, announcing to the region that the spring season has arrived.
Gathering the most excitement during the Toyohashi Oni Matsuri is the "Aka-Oni & Tengu's Karakai." Long time ago in the heavenly lands (where gods live), according to the Japanese mythology, a mischievous god (Aka-Oni) was punished by a Tengu skilled in marshal arts. The tale is incorporated into a Dengaku performance, comically playing out the battle between the two gods. One of the reasons for the continuing popularity and love for the festival must also be due to the fact that the defeated Aka-Oni reforms his ways and the conflict comes to a peaceful resolution.
The red Aka-Oni demon defeated in the "Aka-Oni & Tengu's Karakai" rushes out of the shrine and into the town, running all over the neighborhood and giving people Tankiri-ame candy as he passes them. It is said that if you eat this "Tankiri-ame" candy and catch some of the white powder that the Oni scatters, then you will stay healthy throughout the summer season. You must witness and experience the reason for this festival's notoriety as being called a "bizarre festival"—the sight of crowds of people fighting to get covered in white powder!
Please follow the instructions of the venue's security personnel during the festivities.
Please be aware that you will be covered in powder during the "Aka-Oni & Tengu's Karakai."
Please do not climb on objects such as pots placed inside the shrine.
Access to Toyohashi City
Toyohashikoen-Mae Station, Toyohashi Railway Azumada Main Line
Akumi-Kambe Shinmeisha Shrine
address: Hacchodori 3-17, Toyohashi, Aichi
2min walk from Toyohashikoen-Mae Station