Omikoshi

The Omikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine used for Japanese festivals or matsuri.  Festival-goers transport the miniature shrine by securing it onto two to four poles and lifting the poles onto their shoulders.  They carry the shrine from the main temple through the neighborhood streets, shouting "Wasshoi, wasshoi".

 

This omikoshi was originally made for JapanFest Atlanta in 2003.  It has been displayed and carried in the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., as well as annually in Atlanta's JapanFest.  It is made of bald Cypress and is 46 inches in height.  A copper phoenix perches atop the black lacquered roof.  The shrine took over two months to construct, with many new features added in subsequent years.  

JapanFest Atlanta
JapanFest Atlanta