Chikuma-jinja Shrine (Maibara City) (筑摩神社 (米原市))

Chikuma-jinja Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Maibara City, Shiga Prefecture.

The enshrined deities are Miketsukami, Uka no mitama and Otoshi no kami, and they are all gods related to food.

It is said to have been founded in B.C. 365, but it is not listed in Engishiki Jinmyocho (a list of shrines). The shrine tradition says that Emperor Keitai determined the holy precincts of the shrine by building Angu (temporary lodging to accommodate an Imperial visit) beside the shrine and rebuilding a main building of the shrine when he went to Kyoto from Echizen (present Fukui Prefecture). Chikuma, where the shrine is located, used to be the manor of Dairi Daizen-shiki (the Office of the Palace Table of the Court) in the year of Emperor Kanmu and it had been considered a guardian of the manor until it was abolished in 1070. Estates were also donated by the retired Emperor Gotoba and MINAMOTO no Yoritomo, and the rank of Shoichi (Senior First Rank) was conferred on the deities of the shrine in 1245. In the Edo period, it was revered by the Ii clan, the lord of the Hikone Domain.

Rites and Festivals
In the major spring festival of May 3, a total of 200 people parade about one kilometer from Otabisho (a temporary accommodation for the portable shrine) to the shrine. In the parade are eight girls of around eight years of age wearing Kariginu (informal clothes for court nobles) and pots on their heads, so the festival is called 'the Nabekaburi matsuri' (the Pot-wearing Festival) and is often considered one of the three major strange festivals of Japan. The festival is thought to have started because the enshrined deities of this shrine are all related to food. The Nabekaburi matsuri is designated as an intangible asset of folk culture by Maibara City.

[Original Japanese]