Carmen Tamas, Ph. D.
Associate Professor UNIVERSITY OF HYOGO
Herbert Plutschow states that “matsuri share with most rituals throughout the world universal concepts of cosmic order and the human place in it.”
For yours truly, matsuri are the rituals where masked dancers weave their way on the stage all through the night, wild boars are sacrificed to the gods, their meat eaten almost raw by the side of the river, straw dragons are slayed at midnight, men bathe in frozen rivers and stand on burning fires, go down steep slopes on tree trunks, or carry extravagantly decorated parade floats for three days in a row, while long-nosed demons await to spank the participants with bamboo sticks. Matsuri are the stage for laughing gods and ritually weeping babies, huge torches that break the veil between worlds, and fireworks that appease the god of thunder. This website has been created as a humble portal to this world of wonders, where gods still walk the earth, taking the time to share a cup of sake with their faithful humans.