August 24, 2014
1206 JAPAN (Kyūshū) - Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival
Hakata Gion Yamakasa is a Japanese festival celebrated from 1 to 15 July in Hakata, Fukuoka. Its rites centre is on Kushida Jinja, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Amaterasu and Susanoo, founded in 757. It has a seven hundred and fifty year history, attracts up to a million spectators, and in 1979 was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. The sound of the Kaki Yamakasa has been selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan. It is famous for a 5km race through the streets of Hakata, in which compete teams of men bearing on their shoulders yamakasa, which are large 1-ton floats elaborately decorated.
The yamakasa floats come in two categories, namely, colorful floats for decorative purposes called kazariyama, and floats to be carried in the festival known as kakiyama. The decorated floats are set up on the street corners on July 1st for display. They are almost 10m tall, and are decorated with samurai or popular anime character dolls produced through the expertise of master Hakata Doll craftsmen. Formerly, men used to run about carrying these tall decorated floats, but because they would get stuck on electric cables and lights, it was decided that they were more suited for display purposes only. The floats exhibited at the Kushida-jinja Shrine can be viewed all year round.
Hakata Gion Yamakasa - Wikipedia
Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival - Japan: The Official Guide
Sender: Akiko Watanabe (direct swap)
Sent from Kitakyūshū (Kyūshū / Japan), on 06.08.2014