The Saiō-Dai is a woman who is chosen from the sisters and daughters of the emperor to dedicate herself to the Shimogamo shrine and is carried on the Oyoyo Mikoshi (portable shrine). The role of Saiō-Dai was to maintain ritual purity and to represent the Emperor at the festival. Now, the role of the Saiō-Dai is played by an unmarried woman in Kyoto. She would be dressed in the traditional style of the Heian court.
Shimogamo Shrine in Japanese, is the common name of an important Shinto sanctuary in the Shimogamo district of Kyoto city's Sakyō ward. Its formal name is Kamo-mioya-jinja. It is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and is one of the seventeen Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.