Summer Festivals in Japan

 

There are varieties of Summer Festivals which have been associated with local traditional cultures and customs. They are innumerable! We, here, are introducing some major ones and famous for tourism.

Dear Japanese friends: Your introductions of your regional festivals, which you are proud of, are welcome for Indonesian can learn more about Japan. 

 

〇  The three major Summer Festivals in Tohoku

①    The summer festivals are held in many area of Aomori Prefecture in early August. This is originated from the    18th century.

The most famous ones are Aomori NEBUTA and Hirosaki NEPUTA which are registered as “Important Intangible Cultural Heritage” in 1980.

                       

  Aomori NEBUTA                      Hirosaki NEPUTA

 

NEBUTA is 3-dimensional and NEPUTA is fan shape on which the front called Kagami-E and the back called Miokuri-E are decorated with painting.

 

②    Akita KANTOU Matsuri festival is held in Akita City, Akita Prefecture on August 3-6. It has 250 years or more history.

The shape of KANTOU seems to be an ear of rice on which lanterns compare to “straw of rice-bag”. People put it on the forehead, the shoulder, or the waist and pray for good harvest.

Owaka type is the biggest one with 46 lanterns and the weight is approximately 50 Kg.

            

 

③    Sendai TANABATA Matsuri Festival

The TANABATA Matsuri in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture is the biggest Tanabata Matsuri in Japan. It is held in early August (July in lunar calendar).

 It had become popular in the 16th Century which had been encouraged by the feudal load DATE Masamune. The recent decoration is originated from Edo style. The Festival is to call in the God of Rice field.

 A story of tragic love between Ori-hime and Kengyu, they can rendezvous only once a year in Tanabata season.

                                                  

                                              from 仙台七夕協賛会ギャラリー

 

〇  Tokyo

The most exciting news is the word highest broadcasting tower “Tokyo Sky Tree” and “Sumida River Fireworks”.

          

 

〇  Kyoto

Gion Matsuri is the summer festival of Yasaka shrine which is the one of the three major Festivals in Japan with Osaka Tenjin Matsuri and Tokyo Kanda Matsuri. The History is so long (1,100 years) and absolutely gorgeous.

             

 

〇  Osaka

Tenjin Matsuri is widely done at all Tenjin or TenmanGu : shrine throughout Japan. Sugawara Michizane who is “God of Studies” enshrined.

Osaka Tenman-gu is the most famous shrine and holds the festival on around July 25 for his death day. The festival has 1,000 years more history.

               

                                                      from Osaka Tenmangu’s Website

 

〇  Shikoku

①   Shikoku Island consists of four prefectures; Tokushima, Kagawa, Ehime and Kochi. There are many summer festivals there and of those, famous and good for tourism.

Tokushima Prefecture (formerly Awa country) is the birth place of AWA ODORI: Awa Dance which is BON festival. It has 400 years history and in August, especially in Tokushima City the largest scaled one and spreading to many areas in Japan.

The team of Odori (dance) is called as Ren and many Rens there. Dancers & audiences are madly in love with Awa Odori together.

    

 

②   Yosakoi Matsuri is the festival held in Kochi Prefecture (formerly Tosa Country) from August 9-13 in Kochi City.

Kochi & Surabaya Indonesia are sister cities. The month of June end, many Yosakoi teams in Surabaya enjoy Yosakoi Dance.

    

                                                                                                                     Surabaya

  

〇  Kyushu & Okinawa

①    In Kyushu, also many summer festivals. Here, we are introducing soul-stirring one Kokura, Kita Kyusyu City, Fukuoka Prefecture Kokura Gion Daiko held in July. It was born in 1618 and approximately 390 years of history. In Fukuoka, there are three major festivals additionally Hakata GionYamagasa and Tobata Gion Ooyamagasa.

                              

 

②    Welcome Home Festival for ancestor soul in the month of July in Okinawa. Younger people are dancing and beating drums shouting “Ei-Sa—“. There are similar festivals around Asian countries.

                

                        

 

There are more festivals in Japan. We are regretful not to introduce all of them. However, we would continuously be doing so.

 

We would express our sincere thanks for using or quoting the free photos, allowable ones and public Websites.

 

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