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Akiha Fire Ceremony

by Yuki Yamauchi

Staff Writer

This weekend a series of ceremonies will take place at the kamisha (upper shrine) of Akihasan Hongu Akiha Shrine in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The main draw will be three choreographic rituals on the 16th. Leading off with the Dance of Bow and the Dance of Swords, things will wrap up in a blaze of glory with the Dance of Fire, a performance that involves a Shinto priest waving a flaming torch in order to provide protection against actual fires.

The Akiha Fire Ceremony takes place at Akihasan Hongu Akiha Shrine Kamisha in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Dec. 15 and 16. The main ceremony starts at 10 p.m. on Dec. 16. Admission is free. For more details, visit www.akihasanhongu.jp/himatsuri/index.html.