What is the Japanese for "Hoyaku matsuri", a festival in Kunisaki, Oita prefecture for Taishakuten? (According to the NHK documentary "Seasoning the Seasons", episode "The Kunisaki Peninsula: Mystical Festivals in a Spiritual Land", "Hoyaku" means "lewd and vulgar").

Googling in English for hoyaku matsuri only got one hit, and googling in Japanese using either "ほやく 祭り" or "ほうやく 祭り" (in case the long vowel got lost when translating into English) didn't seem to get any relevant results. Searching ほやく and ほうやく in jisho.org names dictionary didn't get anything either.

It's possible the festival isn't large-scale enough to have any hits on google, or that maybe "Hoyaku" is a nickname, rather than the formal name of the festival.

2 Answers 2


Apparently, it is written as 「ホーヤク[祭]{まつり}」.

According to the official sightseeing information website for Oita Prefecture, 「ホーヤク」 is a dialectal word meaning "impurity", "obscenity", "absurdity", etc.

After the festival, men are given rice cakes shaped like something feminine and women are given its "male counterpart". The website does not say exactly what those are (and I am too inexperienced to take a guess).

Because the word sounds, however, like the word 「[豊作]{ほうさく}」 (= "good harvest"), the festival is meant to pray for that.

Everything I have said here is from the website, not my own knowledge.



The name appears to be Hōyaku Festival, in Japanese ホーヤク祭, where as you say ホーヤク means "impurity, obscenity, foolishness" in a local dialect, but also relates to 豊作 "abundant harvest".

More info here: http://www.visit-oita.jp/event/event0303.html

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