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Gionmatsuri@_
KEY WORD :@art history / paintings
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An annual festival at Yasaka Jinja _ and surrounding area of Kyoto, and a popular subject of Japanese genre painting *fuuzokuga . The festival is held to honor the god *Gozu Tennou V (Sk: Gavagriva), the tutelary deity of the Jetavana monastery Gionshouja _ in India and god of good health. In 869, to bring relief from an epidemic, a portable shrine and 66 tall spears hoko g representing the provinces were carried to a pond south of the Imperial Palace ground, and dipped in as supplication to halt the plague. By the late 10c the festival had become an annual event sponsored by the shrine and was held on the 14th day of the Sixth month. Canceled during the Ounin m war (1467-77) and the following decades, the Gion festival was revived by merchants and townspeople in the 16c, who built and maintained floats that expressed pride in their neighbourhoods and professions. Currently held in July, events span the entire month but climax on the seventeenth with a parade of wheeled yamaboko Rg (floats with spear-like poles) filled with musicians playing the distinctive gion bayashi _q music and the smaller yama R floats, originally carried, displaying life-size images of famous historical and legendary figures. Both the yamaboko Rg and yama are usually curtained with antique or modern tapestries from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and, most frequently, silk brocade produced by the local textile industry, which are intended to display their skill and technical innovations. The Gion festival is often depicted with ample detail in *rakuchuu rakugai-zu O} screens, and in screens and picture scrolls *emaki G devoted solely to the festival, gion sairei-zu _՗}. Since the Edo period, at festival time, it has been customary for Kyoto families in Hokomachi g to display their gion sairei-zu screens as well as other paintings and tapestries in the front of their homes and businesses
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