Rice Festival in Kyoto (1910) | BFI National Archive

BFI -- Oct 21
Celebrations for the festival, including a Courtesans’ procession, the parade of mikoshi (portable shrines) and traditional theatre.

The film begins with tayu dochu (courtesans’ procession), in which high-ranking courtesans of the Shimabara district in Kyoto parade through the street in a slow, stylised manner, accompanied by parasol-holders and child attendants. This worldly public spectacle is followed by the festive parade of Shintoism, presumably held by either the Matsuno’o Shrine or the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The open-air theatrical performance, with its full house of standing audience, is possibly part of the festival. (Kosuke Fujiki)

BFI silent film curator Bryony Dixon adds: This was filmed by Pathé Frères in 1911. There are only two surviving intertitles: 'Parade of the beauties' and 'Parade in honour of the ancient warriors'. The Pathé synopsis mentions that one of the portable shrines is dedicated to the Ō Inari – the kami (or spirit) associated with the fox and grain harvest - who rides a white fox.