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North Area 17-1

Mushiokuri in Okyozuka

Festivals & Dances
Mushiokuri in Okyozuka
Torch Procession to Drive away Crop-eating Insects
North Area 17-1

Mushiokuri (torch procession to drive away crop-eating insects) in Okyozuka is held on the Saturday before July 21 each year. It was cancelled several times during WWII. The parade of mushiokuri starts from Sanatake Shrine. People walk around the town with torches and beat drums. Mushiokuri parades from other areas merge together as they move toward a large torch set up at Okyozuka Historical Park. When the parade reaches the park, the people kindle the large torch.
Before, people walked around chanting to pray for a bountiful harvest and protection from insects that harmed the rice. The location of the large torch was next to Sanatake Shrine. In Oshino Village, drums were heard every night in July because so many settlements performed mushiokuri.