Small Talk

Shinto Autumn Festival

September 29th, 2014

Every fall, a small but diligent congregation in Honolulu gathers at Daijingu Temple of Hawaii to celebrate the Autumn Thanksgiving Festival, a time to traditionally give thanks to the gods for a good harvest.

photo 1

While I'm not a member of the temple, I am attached to it via my jujitsu club, which regularly attends the temple's events, including the big one - the New Year's Eve blessing.

The Autumn Thanksgiving Festival, Akimatsuri, takes place during the second Sunday in September at the Daijingu Temple. For many shrines, the Autumn Festival is often a significant festival.

photo 2

I love the ritual of old religions, so I enjoy seeing the ceremonies and rites, and hearing the priest chant in Japanese, before inviting the members to go up and make an offering and receive a blessing. I am Buddhist, so it's not huge leap for me to participate.

photo 3

After the church ceremony, there's picture taking, entertainment, and the raising of the mikoshi, which is a golden, very heavy, portable Shinto shrine. The aunties of the congregation work hard to prepare a huge buffet table for people to chat and connect.

My jujitsu club.

My jujitsu club.

It's open to the public - and it's free - so if you'd like to catch the next festival, go to for a schedule.

One Response to “Shinto Autumn Festival”

  1. Mark Kazuo Bradley:

    Dear Ms. Ako:

    Thank you very much for sharing your story. Traditions such as these are what makes Hawaii a special place to live, work, and raise the next generation.

    Mark Kazuo Bradley

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