The Deities of Gion

Hometown Stories

30m 30s
Broadcast on June 20, 2021 Available until June 20, 2023

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in summer 2020, Kyoto Prefecture's 1,000-year-old Gion Festival, held annually around Yasaka Shrine, was facing cancellation. But Kitamura Norio, a devoted parishioner who runs a nearby sushi restaurant, called for part of the festival to go ahead somehow, saying at times like these, people need their deities. Amid the self-isolation caused by COVID, the shrine and the local parishioner group decided to revive a contingency plan for the festival originally conceived after a civil war ended in the 15th century. This program is a record of people behind the 2020 Gion Festival and their efforts to maintain their tradition.

Program Outline