Mukonage & Suminuri

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Mukonage & Suminuri

Mukonage & Suminuri
(Groom Tossing & Ash Smearing)

In this curious festival held in the Matsunoyama region of Tokamachi City,
newlywed grooms are thrown from the grounds of a shrine into the deep snow
on the ground below. The mukonage is thought to have originated in the Edo
period, where it was conducted as a way for the locals to even the score with
the man who had taken away one of the village daughters in marriage. Today
however, the meaning of the festival has changed, and it is simply a ritual to
pray for a happy marriage and to strengthen the bonds between husband and

After the mukonage has concluded, the villagers and visitors gather around a
sai no kami bonfire which burns until the ground is covered in black ash. Mixing
these ashes with the snow, everyone smears the mixture on each other’s faces
shouting “Omedetou!” which means “Congratulations!”. This is done in
celebration of the new year. Anyone can participate in this part of the event!

  • むこ投げ
  • すみ塗り
むこ投げ すみ塗り

2009 carried out the “son-in-law threw” on January 15, you can see the video.

Date January 15th
PlaceMatsunoyama Onsen Street