Mo, 02.10.2023 17:00

Hanamatsuri: A late-medieval rural festival and its Edo-period transformation

Hybrid lecture by Mark Teeuwen


Hanamatsuri is a festival with performative elements (kagura) celebrated around New Year in the mountainous region of Inner Mikawa in Central Japan. Originally it was called Kagura or Ōkagura and was organised by mountain ascetics (Shugendō professionals) as an event that combined the resources of multiple villages. In the course of the Edo period, it took on the character of a smaller single-village event, building new social networks and serving new aims. The shorter and less ambitious village performances spread southwards to new village communities, where they were led by “flower masters” (hanadayū) and selected household representatives. Some flower masters acquired licences from court priests in Kyoto such as the Shirakawa or the Tsuchimikado. In the early years of Meiji, the festival experienced a radical Shintoisation in four villages, while other villages continued it more or less unchanged until today. What does this festival complex reveal about changes in ritual life in the early modern Japanese countryside?


Mark Teeuwen is Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Oslo and one of the most renowned experts on Shinto history. In recent years he has focused on the religious social history of early modern Japan (the Edo period), including religious festivals and their gradual “Shintoisation,” i.e., the loss or transformation of originally Buddhist elements.


Please register by September 29, 2023 at office.ikga(at) if you wish to attend the lecture.

To participate online, please register here: You will then receive access information by e-mail.



Monday, October 2, 2023, 17:00–18:30

Austrian Academy of Sciences
Seminar room 3A, 3rd floor
Georg-Coch-Platz 2
1010 Vienna

and online via Zoom (registration link)

Bernhard Scheid
Stefan Köck
Brigitte Pickl-Kolaczia

Poster (PDF)