Oji Kitsune-no-gyoretsu Fox Parade 王子狐の行列

Legend has it that long ago, even before the advent of the Edo period in 1603, on New Year’s Eve foxes from the Kanto region gathered under a large nettle tree, disguised themselves in human costume, and visited Oji Inari Jinja, the regional head of Shinto shrines dedicated to the deity of foxes. The scene is depicted in a painting by ukiyo-e master Utagawa Hiroshige. The painting, in turn, inspired the first Oji Fox Parade, organized on New Year’s Eve 1993 to thank the outgoing and welcome the incoming year. The event is held annually ever since in an effort to integrate traditional culture into the new community. Shrine-goers parade the streets holding lanterns representing the light of life and hope, wishing for the sound growth and happiness of the children, passing down the history and culture of their hometown, and giving them pride and dreams for the future. The procession concludes at Oji Inari Jinja, where all participants offer a prayer and celebrate the arrival of the New Year.

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