Sunday, 8 October 2017

'Munakata: The Sea and Goddesses' - Journeys In Japan (NHK World program, Video)

Quoting from the introduction to the program on the NHK World VOD site:

Munakata City is located in northwestern Kyushu, facing the Sea of Genkai. As an ancient maritime trade route, Munakata opened its doors to international commerce and cultures, playing an important role in history. The city has been nurtured by deep faith since mythical times. And the 1,400-year-old Munakata Taisha, which worships three sister goddesses, is at the center of that faith.

Munakata Taisha holds an annual ritual in which the two elder goddesses-who live on nearby islands-travel to join their younger sister in Munakata. Hundreds of fishing boats take part in the spectacular Miare Festival, carrying vibrant banners.

Poet Peter MacMillan visits Munakata Taisha and observes the ritual-getting transported back in time. He also visits Oshima Island, the starting point of the festival, where there's a smaller shrine dedicated to the youngest goddess, whom islanders revere as the god of sea safety and good hauls. On Journeys in Japan, Peter MacMillan follows the traces of the ancient people who directed their eyes to the sea and beyond.

Original Content Source:

This video can also be accessed at the NHK VOD (Video On Demand) site at this link (only until November 22, 2017) :

Okitsugu Yohaijo. (Photo credit:

Miare Festival. (Photo credit:

The highlights of this journey including a Travel log, can be read at:

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