Kishiwada Danjiri festival

Osaka Travel Blog

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Thousands of people crowded around in anticipation of the danjiri (float) rolling up the street, as the danjiri built up speed you could see the strains on the faces of the people pulling the 3000 kilogram floats . The people all in teams chanting in Japanese the equivalent  of heave ho, heave ho. The towns local carpenter stood on top of the floats performing the airplane dance made famous by this festival, first the carpenter  moving to his left, then to his right to the rythmic beats of the drum, then leaping high into the air with his arms spread out like wings before landing on one foot to the cheers of the raucous crowd. Each of the massive floats is adorned with a number of intricate wood carvings depicted celebrated battles and record of war in ancient Japan

The festival dates back to  1703,  which was created by the Lord of Kishiwada castle to prey for an abundent harvest.

The festival from the beginning enjoyed tremendous local support. The festiva quickly grew in significance for the people of Kishiwada. Gates normally barring townspeople from entering the grounds were thrown open on festival days. Feudal Lords of Kishiwada looked on as each float was pulled in and each floats pulling team staged various high spirited performances.

Over 300 years of tradition and all of Kishiwada behind it 34 Danjiri teams bring their sacred floats on a recklessly, swift tour of the castle town in a race of strength, endurance and celebration. If you were to compare this festival to any other in the world it could possibly be compared to the running of the bulls in Spain and also because of the shear danger involved as virtually every year a death or two occurs when the floats at high speeds turn the corner and topple over.

This years festival was held on September 13 and 14th. The date depends on each years holidayof the Respect of Age day.

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photo by: yasuyo