Touzan Shrine is a unique Shinto shrine. It is dedicated to Ri Sanpei the Korean immigrant who established the manufacture of porcelain in Japan. The shrine’s torii gates are made of porcelain as are a pair of komainu (The Japanese equivalent of Okinawan shisa). A monument stands to Ri Sanpei on the hill behind the shrine. At Tousosai, a festival held on May 4th, Touzan Shrine gives thanks to Ri Sanpei. The ceremony is attended by local potters, representatives from Korea, and sometimes artists from other countries. The priests offered prayers and the miko performed a sacred dance. I was given permission to take a photos by the priests of the shrine who were so kind and friendly. I love Japanese festivals, even those which are comparatively unknown. I love the costumes, the ancient traditions passed down from generation to generation, the smiles, and the general awesomeness.
A few images from the Arita Porcelain Fair. It is held each year from April 25th to May 5th. Arita, normally a small quiet town, receives around one million visitors all looking for a ceramic masterpiece at a bargain price.