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Dosojin Matsuri

Dosojin Matsuri

Dosojin Matsuri is an interesting fire festival that is held annually on January 15. It is one of the three biggest fire festivals in Japan where the 25 and 42 year old men of Nozawa take on special roles for the festivities. A gigantic wooden tower is built using five sacred trees that were logged in the previous autumn year from the Dosojin forest. It takes around 100 locals to build the shrine for the Dosojin Matsuri, which is then bestowed a Dosojin by a priest from Kosuge Shrine. The 25 year olds protect the base of the wooden tower while the 42 year olds defend the upper part. At night the villagers start attacking the shaden (shrine) while the others protect the wooden tower from them. After the battle between the groups the shrine is set a flame to become a giant bonfire.