Bryan Baier

Deer Antler-Cutting at Nara

Every October at Kasuga Shrine

Bryan Baier
Bryan Baier   - 2 min read

The Nara Shika no Tsunokiri or Deer Antler-Cutting Ceremony takes place every October. The event has been held since 1671 to prevent rutting buck deer from causing injury to Nara’s residents and visitors (not to mention each other) and to prevent them from causing damage to property.

A group of 10 men, called seko or beaters, chase and capture the deer using an x-shaped bamboo cross with a rope that hooks onto the deers’ antlers.

The Shika no Tsunokiri takes place at the Rokuen between the first and second tori gates on the path to Kasuga Shrine. Once a buck has been captured, a Shinto priest (or shinkan in Japanese) gives it some water to calm it down and then the antlers are ceremoniously cut off with a saw and offered to the gods of Kasuga Shrine.

Admission is from 11:30 and the ceremony runs from 12:00–3:00 (last admission at 2:30). Admission to the event is ¥1,000 for adults and ¥500 for children elementary school-aged and younger.

Bryan Baier

Bryan Baier @bryan.baier

11 years of exploring, doing all I can do and sharing that knowledge with the world.