The Doi Festival & Warriors’ Parade
The warriors’ procession in memory of Yoritomo’s army is reminiscent of ancient history.
Warriors’ Parade in Memory of Yoritomo Minamoto’s Army
This procession is held in memory of the days when Sanehira Doi, the head of a powerful clan and one of Kanto’s Great Eight, ruled over his domain in Yugawara (then Doi-go), including the area around Odawara. The clan owned a manor about 830 years ago, at the end of the Heian era.
On August 17, 1180, when Yoritomo raised an army in Hirugakojima, Sanehira commanded the army, followed by his whole family. He supervised the strategy, the weapons and the battles, with the help of the Hojos from Nirayama.
The area around Yugawara Station used to be the site of the Doi family’s palace, and Joganji Temple (300 meters from the back of the station) used to be their private Buddha statue hall.
In this palace, after raising an army in Izu, Yoritomo and Sanehira worked out their strategies to head for Kamakura, made war preparations, and headed out for battle in Ishibashiyama, with Yoritomo’s 300 odd warriors on horseback.
Unfortunately, outnumbered by their enemy, Yoritomo’s army lost the first battle between the Minamoto and Taira clans, and retreated to Sugiyama in the Doi family’s domain.
With the help of Sanehira’s bravery, maneuvers, discretion and foresight, Yoritomo hid in Sugiyama, Doi-go, and escaped from Manazuru by sea.
Just four months later, Yoritomo built a larger army of 30,000, and established the shogunate in Kamakura. (At that time Sanehira was 73 years old, Yoritomo, 35, and Toohira, 31. The elderly Sanehira’s power is truly amazing.)
In Japanese history, those ten days in Doi-go were the opportunity that led to the birth of the medieval feudal government. It is refered to as, ” a time when history was altered.” Interested in knowing more about this period, in which Yoritomo’s government was followed, without a break, by those of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and the Tokugawa shogunate? The events are explained in more detail in the “Azuma Kagami” section of Genpei Seisuiki (The Rise and Fall of the Minamoto and Taira Clans).
Yoritomo Minamoto and Sanehira Doi
There is a pond called Jikansui halfway up Mt. Hoshigayama, a remote hill in Kajiya, Yugawara Town.
In August, 1180, when Yoritomo Minamoto, after losing a battle, fled through the cedar grove to the side of the pond, hunger and thirst struck him at once.
He thrust his head over the pond to drink in a hurry, and saw his weary, pitiful face, and disheveled hair reflected on the surface of the water. Upon seeing his wretched self, he said, “Is this how the heir to the Minamoto family looks? How miserable!” and drew his short sword to try and commit hara-kiri. Sanehira Doi, who was standing beside him, suddenly grasped Yoritomo’s hand, and remonstrated, “What a rash act, inappropriate for a general! A man with the caliber of a general does not try to commit suicide after one or two defeats! Please, have a more open mind, and desist from killing yourself.”
This story led to the pond being called “Jikansui” (water for seeing oneself) because Yoritomo knew how miserable he looked when he saw himself reflected on the water. It is also refered to as “Jigaisui,” because he tried to commit suicide at this pond, too, (“Jigai” means “to kill oneself.”). The anecdotes surrounding the names of this pond have been handed down over a long period of time.
|Date||April 3rd, 2016|
|Ritual||At Gosho Shrine (10：00 - 11：00): Warriors’ self-introduction, ceremony for going to war, Dance of Shomo (Fire)
At Sakuragi Park (11：30 - 12：30): Warriors’ self-introduction, Dance of Shomo (Fire), ceremony for going to war
|The Doi Festival (includes: a ceremony, a Buddhist memorial service, and a visit to the grave)||Sunday, April 3rd, 2016 (rain or shine)
At Joganji Temple, starting from 1:30 p.m.
Buddhist memorial service for Sanehira Doi, Yoritomo and his men; dedication of the Dance of Shomo; public participation in the visit to the grave; etc.