Japanese Festivals

I wrote this entry for my best British friend, Martyn, because I want to express him about Japanese festivals.

Today I want to introduce about Japanese festivals. In Japan we have regional Gods each areas. We have Shinto shrines to respect our regional Gods. I think that festivals of Shinto shrines are one of our respectable habitats for our regional Gods. Most Shinto shrines have portable shrines. We carry around them to show regional people at the festivals. Portable shrines have various figures. Celebration styles are also varieties. I must move to one place to another place within five to seven years because of my husband’s business transfers. Therefore, I’ve watched lots of regional festivals. I would love to introduce some famous festivals in Japan. I hope you can enjoy the video clips and understand about our festivals.

I was born in kansai area, so I want to introduce the one of the most famous festivals in Kyoto. I think my hometown’s festival is influenced by Kyoto. I think Kyoto’s festivals look very feminine and elegant compared to others. That’s because in heian era(in 794 to 1185) Kyoto was a capital of Japan. Kyoto’s festival was for Japanese heian nobles enjoyed watching.

After I was married, I transferred Hakata in Kyusyu. Compared to Kyoto’s festivals, Hatata’s festivals are very masculine. In Hakata Yamagasa females can’t attend the festival. While festivals, Japanese guys drink sake and compete carrying speed of their areas’ portable Shinto shrines. When I watched at them for the first time, I was very surprised because I smelled sake here and there. I thought most of guys who was attending the festival drunk.

 When I transferred Wakayama prefecture, I had an experience to be able to watch one of the most dangerous festivals in Japan. The festival is Kishiwada area’s festival called “danjiri(岸和田だんじり祭りーきしわだだんじりまつり)”. It looks like “Hakata Yamagasa(博多山笠ーはかたやまがさ), but it is more masculine. Guys carrying portable Shinto shrines compete speed of turning around corners of streets. If the portable Shinto shrine couldn’t turn around the corner, it crushed walls of buildings or houses. Every year we know the sad news a few people die for the festival.

I had lived in Nagano prefecture before I moved to my current prefecture. Therefore, I also had another experience to be able to watch another dangerous festival called “onbashira(御柱ーおんばしら)”. Onbashira is done every 7 years. Luckily, while I lived in Nagano prefecture, I could watch it once. The festival is different from others and guys who want to show their collages dance on the woods slipping down with high speed. The festival is also dangerous. We also hear that a few people die under the woods while dancing on the woods.

 Which festivals do you like the best? I love Kyoto’s festivals because they are very lovely.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brandon
    Apr 01, 2010 @ 13:24:20

    I like the annual Italian festival. It is soooooo much fun!!


    • yumi
      Apr 01, 2010 @ 13:36:12

      Hi, Brandon. Thank you so much for the comment! Italian festivasl!!!! I also love them. I love Italian mask’s festival. I also love Spanish festival. Do you also have festivals?


      • Brandon
        Apr 03, 2010 @ 16:11:53

        Yes, Sarasota has tons of festivals year round. The Italian festival is the biggest.

      • yumi
        Apr 05, 2010 @ 12:48:53

        Hi, Brandon. Thank you so much for the comment. Ah, you were talking about your festival, weren’t you. I see. What is the Italian festival? It sounds very interesting!

  2. Martyn
    Apr 01, 2010 @ 15:15:03

    Thank you for posting all this info, Yumi. I will watch the videos later on and tell you which one is my favourite.


    • yumi
      Apr 01, 2010 @ 15:49:51

      Hi, Martyn. Thank you so much for the comment. I guess that you like Yamagasa. My husband love Yamagasa, and he sometimes says that he wants to come back to Kyushu to watch Yamagasa.


  3. Brandon
    Apr 06, 2010 @ 01:19:42

    The italian festival is very fun. it has tons of food, meat, games and rides. Adults actually like it as much as children! Actually their are clowns and of corse, Italians.


    • yumi
      Apr 06, 2010 @ 16:37:31

      Hi, Brandon. How are you doing today? Thank you as always for commentind on me. It sounds really fun! Do you eat Italian foods while playing Italian games?


  4. Brandon
    Apr 06, 2010 @ 18:54:23

    Yeah, I’m doing fine. I usually don’t eat there, but i do play the games!


    • yumi
      Apr 08, 2010 @ 15:35:05

      Sounds interesting! When you attend the festival next time, please show me some pictures. I think you should write a journal entry about the festival on your blog!!


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