The Izawa-cho neighborhood of Matsusaka City, which lies on the banks of the Kushida River, is a relic from time immemorial. From the time of Japan’s middle ages, Izawa-cho prospered from the production of Keifun (raw material of face powder made with quicksilver) mined from the Niu area on the upper reaches of the river.
At the peak of production at the end of the Muromachi period, there were as many as eighty-three Keifun factories. The wealthy merchants of Izawa-cho who journeyed to Edo and Kyoto brought great wealth and sophisticated culture back to the town.
This wealth and culture is the inheritance of traditional observances in Izawa-cho, including the Gion festival and various other folk customs. Cultural assets that dot the landscape of the town are invaluable sources of its unique history and culture.