Yabu (ogres for festivals) in Kure
Yabu (ogre) which don costumes of vivid yellow, red and green and ogre masks appear in autumn festivals held at Shinto shrines from late September through early November. They are unique in Kure.
Yabu are originally assigned to protect the gods and lead them to the shrine, and one more important job is to guard the rice, a votive offering from the devotees.
At the festival a group of devotees who carry the rice to the shrine collide with yabu. At a glance it seems that yabu try to impede devotees, but actually yabu inspect the rice to determine if it is authentic or not and rub the rice by struggling with devotees to make it more polished.
Today we can find a yabu design on a tote bag and a metal badge as souvenirs.
Yabu has taken root as Kure’s culture.