Powerful spectacle like a battle field! "Imao's Sagicho", a new year's event, where men running around the fire.

Powerful spectacle like a battle field!
"Imao's Sagicho" is held on the second Saturday of February every year in the ground of "Akiba jinja shrine", which is located in Hirata town, Kaizu city, Gifu prefecture.
The event, also called as "Dontoyaki", welcoming the god of fire and praying for growth of all creation by warming the earth, is the new year's Shinto ritual.
Young men put fire on some take-mikoshis, which are made by community associations, and say a prayer while running around the furiously burning take-mikoshis. Such a spectacle is with full of powers, and many tourists visit for viewing every year.

* Sagicho is a traditional fire festival marking the end of new year celebration. It is held all over the Japan.
* A take-mikoshi is a small shrine made of bamboo.

This time I asked Mr. Takeshi Mitamurathe story about the situation when he had shot the photos and about the points that he had been conscious of.

I had completely been fascinated by the crazy atmosphere of the site.

Tell me please what made you think of shooting the photos of this event.
When I happened to see the one photo, which was taken the situation of Imao's Sagicho at NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, I had a great shock, and I became interested in this event. When I actually saw the event live, I was shocked by the crazy atmosphere of the site. I was completely attracted by this extraordinary atmosphere.
Is there any point that you had a hard time when you shot the photo or any point that you were conscious of?
I had to shoot the photo from the downwind, for the picture that I liked to take. But, if I am at the downwind, I will be covered with sparks and much soot. Equipment was smeared with soot, clothes were tattered by sparks and soot, and I breathed much smokes. With teary eyes, I shot the photos and then evacuated a while, and when I had chances, I shot the photos again. It was a hard time to repeat such actions.
While shooting, I was conscious as if shooting a battle field, and I repeatedly took the photos, confirming the position of light and smoke.
Do you have any advice and important point for those who like to try shooting the Imao's Sagicho?
Anyway, please enjoy this extraordinary space. And, it is no good to join in fashionable clothes when you take photos (lol).
As Mr. Takeshi Mitamura told "shot the photos with an image of a battlefield", the photos convey the extraordinary atmosphere and the great power, don't they?
For the one who "likes to shoot the photos of this event with full of great power even if your whole body are smeared with soot!", why don't you join by all means next year?
《 Detailed information of Imao's Sagicho》
【Date of the event】The second Saturday of February every year
【Time of the event】Starting from the noon
【Name of the place】Akiba Jinja Shrine
【Address】Imao, Hirata town, Kaizu city, Gifu prefecture
【Access】Take "Kaizu-Hashima line" of Kaizu city community bus from Gifu-Hashima station of Meitetsu line, and get off at "Imao" bus stop
【Web site】http://www.city.kaizu.lg.jp/sightseeing-event/highlight/sagicho.html

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