Warei Taisai Uwajima Ushi-oni Matsuri

(和霊大祭・うわじま牛鬼まつり)

Uwajima City, Ehime Pref.

All Day Join Chugoku Shikoku

About the Festival

The Warei Taisai Uwajima Ushi-oni (Demonish Bull) Matsuri is one of Shikoku’s ne of the most famous summer festivals held over three days from July 22nd to the 24th.

On the 22nd, they hit off the festival with the Uwajima Gaiya Carnival, a dance event where youngsters parade down Kisaiya Road and Ushi-oni Street dancing to the song composed by artist Ryūdo Uzaki.

On the 23rd, you can attend the adorable Kids Ushi-oni Parade, where children carry a miniature sized ushi-oni on their shoulders, the Uwajima Dance overflowing with southern exotic atmosphere, and the Fireworks Festival held over the waters of Uwajima Bay.

The festival reaches its climax at the finale on July 24th, with the star attraction The Parade of the “Parent” Ushi-oni. In the evening hours, the giant floats and sacred portable shrine are paraded down the Suka River passing in front of the Warei Shrine. This run, known as “hashiri-komi”, unfolds under the beautiful display of fireworks, accompanied by a gang of torch men, and ends with a contest in the Suka River to see who can obtain a sacred symbol that rests at the top of a single bamboo stalk towering meters above the water.

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Things to Do

1. The star of the festival – “Ushi-oni” – is a must see!

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Standing five to six meters high, these bulls, comprised of bamboo frame and dawned with a frightening demon mask, have a long neck made of wooden logs, a tail in the shape of a sword, and are covered in either palm leaves or red cloth. As the star of this festival, it is hauled around town upon the shoulders of dozens of young men, led by the sound of children blowing on “booboos” (bamboo horns), as it sways its long neck, parading from house to house, sticking its head in doorways to ward off evil spirits.

Witnessing over twenty of these Ushi-oni parading the city is truly the highlight.

2. Enjoy the fantastic display of fireworks over water.

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These two consecutive nights of fireworks over the bay and in the river are sure to be an eyeful; so much that if you manage to make it close to the launching site, you can look forward to a sore neck the next morning.

Marine Fireworks (Uwajima Bay area) :    7/23 20:40~
Fireworks (Maruyama Sports Park)   :    7/24 20:40~

3. Feel the locals’ spirit in a most fantasy-like atmosphere.

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On the last night, there is the “hashiri-komi”. Inside the river, illuminated with bonfires and torches, you will see three portable shrines parade along side a number of other floats while the sound of festival drums echoes through the air. The festival reaches its climax as the shrines surround a single bamboo stalk jetting out of the river that young men climb to compete in capturing a sacred symbol that rests at the very top. It is a brief moment, during a single night of summer; a national rarity that is truly a fantastic sight to see.

Information (基本情報)

  • Festival Dates 2019, July 22nd (Mon) through 24th (Wed)
    *Held annually on the same dates.
  • Place Inner city Uwajima
    Kisaiya Road (Shopping street) and Ushi-oni Street (In front of Nanyo Bunka Kaikan)
    Great Warei Shrine
    Other
  • General Participation It is possible to participate in the “hashiri-komi” and torch bearing (Prior sign up is required).
  • International Reception and Info. None available particular for this festival
  • Wi-Fi Available
  • Restrooms Available
  • HP

    http://ushioni.gaina.ne,jp/

  • SNS

    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/uwajimaushioni/

    twitter:  https://twitter.com/ushioni_matsuri

  • Contact The Board for The Uwajima Ushi-oni Matsuri

    Uwajima Chamber of Commerce and Industry 0895(22)5555
    Uwajima City Tourist Association 0895(22)3934
    Uwajima City Commerce and Industry Department 0895(24)1111

Rules & Manners(参加のルール&マナー)

There are road restrictions during the festival.

Access Map (アクセスと地図)

Nearest station
JR Uwajima Station / Uwajima Bus Center
(When coming from the airport)

Train
From Matsuyama Airport, take the bus to JR Matsuyama Station (Approx. 20 minutes). From JR Matsuyama Station take the JR Express UWAKAI to Uwajima Station (Approx. 80 minutes).

Car
It is roughly a 1.5 hour drive from Matsuyama Airport to Uwajima City.

Emiko Izawa
Writer
Born in Shizuoka. I love Sushi, Sake, Shrine, Stationary and Stage!