Guide to Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems) by Photos and Movies

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Name
Cormorant Festival
Address
Nanao City, Hakui City
Category
Festival
Class
Custom
Designation
Keta Shrine cormorant festival: National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset (December 2000)
Comment
This is a Shinto ritual of Keta Shrine and a very unique festival. The fortune for the following year is predicted by the movements of a cormorant released in front of the altar. The cormorant is caught by the Konishi family, who live in Unoura-machi, Nanao City. The secrets of the catching technique are handed down from the father to only one child of the family. Three people on duty as cormorant catcher of the year carry the cormorant and walk the distance of 40km to Keta Shrine over a period of three days. While transporting the cormorant, they cry out, “Cormorant catcher, cormorant catcher”, to inform local residents of the passing of the cormorant. The ritual is held in the hall of worship at 3:00 am on December 16 in the faint light of a pair of candles on a wooden stand. After questions and answers on the part of the priest and cormorant catcher, the cormorant is released. Swift movement of the cormorant up to the altar is considered to be auspicious. Not moving swiftly is thought to be a sign of misfortune. After the ceremony, the cormorant is released on the nearby Ichinomiya Beach. This ritual has been designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset.
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  • Keeper:The Hokkoku Shimbun
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