Society | Jan 20

Ancient Ritual for Good Health: Kyoto's Serpent-Bite Blessing

KYOTO, Jan 20 (News On Japan) - The traditional 'Jazuna' festival, where locals are 'bitten' by a giant serpent made of straw to pray for a year of good health and freedom from illness, was celebrated Friday in Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture.

The 'Jazuna' festival originated during the Edo period as a response to an epidemic. A giant straw serpent, approximately 6 meters long and weighing around 50 kilograms, was hung at the village entrance to ward off disease. It is believed that being bitten by this serpent ensures a year of good health. Accompanied by the sound of conch shells, the serpent visits each household in the community.

A local resident shared their hope: "I wish for everyone to grow healthy and strong. We prayed for good health and safety."

Finally, the 'Jazuna' serpent, suspended from a ginkgo tree at the shrine, will watch over the town for a year, ensuring that no epidemics enter.



The Imperial Household Agency has announced that Princess Kako, the second daughter of the Akishino family, is scheduled to visit Greece in late May to promote international goodwill.

The Taiji Town Whale Museum in Wakayama Prefecture conducted a memorial service on Tuesday for marine mammals and fish that have died in captivity.

A startling projection has been unveiled, suggesting that if current trends continue, every Japanese person might eventually be named 'Sato'.


Four men have been arrested by Tokyo police for allegedly recruiting women for prostitution in the United States via a website, promising encounters with affluent clients and high earnings.

For the first time in 73 years, Japan has unveiled a newly constructed whaling mother ship, equipped with drone technology for whaling operations in the Antarctic Sea.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Nara Prefecture has disciplined its former Youth Division Chief following a controversial dance party incident.

Residents of Japan's oldest student dormitory, self-managed for over 100 years, are digging in as Kyoto University attempts to evict them from the premises.

A Japan Airlines flight en route from Melbourne to Narita Airport encountered sudden severe turbulence on April 1, causing injuries to several cabin crew, including a broken leg.