The Shikinen Shinkosai festival of Jozan Inari Shrine (Matsue City) is fondly known to local people as “Horan-enya.”
The origin of the festival goes back to an episode concerning the first feudal lord for Matsue Domain, Matsudaira Naomasa. The legend goes that, 10 years after Lord Matsudaira came to the Izumo Province, a serious famine threatened the land and he had the omitama (spirits of the deity) of Jozan Inari Shrine taken to Adakaya Shrine and prayed for a good harvest. Horan-enya is known as one of the three largest Shinto rituals involving ships.
Led by the Kaidenmasen ships which sailed from five districts, a procession of various ships, including kagurabune, mikoshibune, and tomobune, spreading over one kilometer at any one time, sails through Lake Shinji, Ohashi River, and to Nakaumi Lake. The Kaidenmasen ships on which dancers in kabuki costumes and paddling young men sing and dance are the biggest attraction of this festival. They enchant the spectators by unfolding a historical picture scroll, accentuated by colorful banners and flags.
This Shinto ritual is carried out once every ten years. The next Horan-enya is due to be held in May of 2019.