Photo/IllutrationAbout 5,000 fireworks light up the night sky over the Okawa river during the Tenjin Matsuri festival in Osaka on July 25. (Taku Hosokawa)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

OSAKA--Honmiyasai, a ceremony to pray for the city’s peace and prosperity, was held on July 25 here during the Tenjin Matsuri, one of Japan’s three largest festivals.

The boisterous festival reached its climax on the day with a ritual known as “funatogyo,” in which the portable shrine with the spirit of the deity usually enshrined at the Temmangu shrine is carried on a boat along the Okawa river.

One hundred brilliantly decorated boats joined it in the procession on the river running through the city center.

About 5,000 fireworks lit up the night sky over the river, and passengers on the boats shouting cheerfully exchanged ceremonial hand claps.

The festival of the Osaka Temmangu shrine, in Osaka’s Kita Ward, is said to have a 1,000-year history.