Hilights of the 1st day of the Furukawa festival

2018年 12月12日

Floats parade and other ritualsIn every district, the floats are drag out of their warehouses. Moreover, there are many rituals in the Keta Wakamiya Taisha sanctuary, as the “shishimai”, the lion dance during which dancers wear a big lion costume together and imitate the motions of the animal.  There is also the toukeiraku, a traditional music parade.

In the afternoon, a small portable temple called Mikoshi is carried in the streets. The floats are brought back to the warehouses before dark but the Mikoshi is carried to an Otabisho, a place that is used as a temporary resting place halfway of the ritual.


The main ritual of Furukawa festival takes place on the second day, but the night before is maybe the most excited moment of the entire festival, the Okoshi-Daiko. 

Okoshi-daiko is called also Mezamashi-daiko (literally “The drum wake-up”) is formerly just a signal of the opening of the festival, when it is played the drum taiko. However, in Furukawa, this moment is so intense that it became a true event in itself. Hundreds of men wearing the fundoshi (traditional underwear) participate to this big show. They are divided in different groups, those who carry the big drum called Oo-daiko and 12 others smalls drums Ko-daiko that are carried by the others who represent each district of the town. This is a violent event where each group try to stay the nearest as possible to the middle where people in charge of the big drums try to push them away. It creates a big rush. This battle attracts and fascinates the public every year. The team in charge of the big drum is selected as random and the other teams are automatically assigned to the tsuke-taiko (small drums).The energy and the intensity of  Furukawa’s inhabitants is so strong and famous for a long time that they are named : Furukawa Yancha (an expression that could be translated as an aggressive or rebel attitude). There are always injured people and the small drums had been prohibited more than once; but nowadays, it becomes more a playable event and the festival is named “dispute festival”, kenka matsuri in japanese.The excitement of the different teams (big and small drums teams) is very close to the public and you will be totally immersed in the atmosphere of the festival. This event causes injured people and even if there is special care not to hurt the public, please be careful. Above all, do not miss the incredible performance of the teams in charge of small drums who balance on a 3 meters high stick placed on their abdomen !
The Furukawa festival tour is at a special price, places are limited. Contact us as soon as possible. → The Furukawa festival at the city of the movie "your name" in cherry season