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Bullfinch Exchange Festival

Event Dates

January 23, 2019 from 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm

January 24, 2019 from 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm

Dates and times are subjects to change without notice. Check with the official organizers before making travel arrangements.


category: Festivals
Major City: Fukuoka
Event is: Free

     The Bullfinch Exchange Festival (Usokae in Japanese; うそかえ祭) is a Japanese traditional event where the believers carry out a ritual struggle between good and evil forces. This event is at the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine in Fukuoka Prefecture. Every year believers gather in the Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine. The believers carry wooden carvings of Bullfinches (a red chested songbird). In the Japanese language Bullfinch actually can be called by two different words, Kiuso or Uso.  Kiuso can mean 1.) the name of the bird or, 2.) a lie.

     The ceremony begins at dark and the wooden birds are transferred between the hands and the participants. The believers hope to capture the golden bird that the priest had added among the other common birds. Due to the double meaning of the word uso, the common bullfinches bird symbolizes "evil" and the Golden Gullfinches symbolize good. Those who get the Golden Gullfinches, believe that evil has been sent away and they have received the good of truth.

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, English Website


Location: Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Address: 4-7-1 Saifu, Dazaifu, Tokyo. 818-0195

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