Sanja Matsuri

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Sanja Matsuri or Sanja Festival, my favorite festival …

is one of three major festivals of Shinto in Tokyo.
It is considered one of the greatest & wildest .
The festival is organized in honor of Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari Hajino Nakatomo
and the three men who created and founded Senso-ji.
On the third weekend of every May, Sanja Matsuri is held at the Shrine of Asakusa.
Its major parades revolve around 3 mikoshi (three portable shrines referenced in the name of the festival)
as well as music and traditional dances.
During three days, the festival attracts 1.5 to 2 million inhabitants and tourists every year.
The following Sunday happens the most important events of Sanja Matsuri
Sanja Matsuri has several other popular draws besides traditional events.
Festival goers can visit stores that are in the Nakamise,
a street that connects the Kaminarimon and Hōzōmon.
Many small food stalls are erected in the surrounding areas for the entire weekend.
Yakuza members also show off their tattoos.

Tattoos : Horimono, Irezumi or “insert ink” :

The Ainu people, an indigenous people of Japan, and only true Japanese were known to have used tattoos for decorative and social purposes.
There is no known relation to the development of irezumi.
The process of irezumi was very painful for the tattooist as well as the “victim” as the tattooist had to endure much screaming in pain.
It is known for certain that irezumi were associated with firemen, dashing figures of bravery and roguish sex appeal who wore them as a form of spiritual protection.