An annual 300-year old event at Kasuga Taisha
Shrine, Shika-no-Tsunokiri or deer antler cutting ceremony
is held at the deer enclosure along the path to the Omotesando
the shrine. Deer become aggressive during
the mating season, and as it is believed they become a danger
to themselves and to humans, they are corralled at the shrine
and their antlers sawn off by volunteers (seko) wearing happi
coats. A running deer is chased and caught. Water is given
to it to make it calm down, and the antler is cut off.
Why worry about the danger of the antlers?
deer at Nara park roam freely There are hundreds of them. They
were once considered messengers of the gods. They have bedome
a symbol of the City and have been declared a national treasure.
The deer are not exactly tame, but they will come right up
to you and ask to be feed.