|Tobata Gion Yamagasa festival|
|Observed by||Tobata ward, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan|
|Date||Fourth Friday in July|
|2022 date||July 22|
|2023 date||July 28|
|2024 date||July 26|
|2025 date||July 25|
The Tobata Gion Yamagasa festival (戸畑祇園山笠) is a popular local Japanese festival (matsuri) which takes place annually in Tobata, a ward of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan. It is held for three days (Friday–Sunday) before and after the fourth Saturday of July. The festival is a national cultural asset[ citation needed ] of Japan, and is centred on the parading of the "Yamagasa" (山笠).
The Yamagasa (or Yamakasa) are very large floats, and are the focal point of the festival. There are four regions of Tobata which participate: Higashi, Nishi, Tenraiji and Nakabaru. Each region has a large Yamagasa for men and a small one for boys, making eight main floats in total.
During the festival in the daytime, the eight official floats with twelve great flags hoisted on the four large ones are carried for a parade, followed by some small floats for children. But in the nighttime, the floats are completely transformed into pyramids of light—huge Lantern Yamakasa floats, their decorations with the flags removed. Each with twelve layers of 309 lanterns, 10 meters high, and 1.5 tons in weight, is shouldered by about 100 carriers.
To move the Yamagasa is an art which requires concerted lifting by all the carriers. To ensure that they do it successfully, they all shout "yoitosa, yoitosa" together in a rhythmic chant with drums and cymbals.
This festival has its origin in 1802, when people plagued by an epidemic in Tobata Village of Chikuzen prayed to Suga-taijin to disperse the plague, their prayers were answered and all of the villagers with plague were cured.[ citation needed ] At that time the villagers held the Yamakasa Festival as the celebration event of the answer to their prayers.
At some point, the nighttime races against the clock round a set course were abandoned [ citation needed ]. However, as of 2017, they take place. Also a Yamagasa festival for ladies has been started [ citation needed ].
Japanese festivals are traditional festive occasions often celebrated with dance and music in Japan. Many festivals have their roots in traditional Chinese festivals, but have undergone extensive changes over time to have little resemblance to their original form, despite sharing the same name and date. There are also various local festivals that are mostly unknown outside a given prefecture.
Hakata-ku (博多区) is a ward of the city of Fukuoka in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.
Hita is a city located in Ōita Prefecture, Japan that was founded on December 11, 1940. It is an agricultural and industrial centre that primarily produces lumber, furniture, and pottery. Its attractions and scenic beauty also make it a popular tourist destination.
Tobata-ku (戸畑区) is a ward of Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan. It is the smallest ward of Kitakyūshū city at 16.66 km². The population was 64,330 as of the national census in 2000.
Yasaka Shrine, once called Gion Shrine, is a Shinto shrine in the Gion District of Kyoto, Japan. Situated at the east end of Shijō-dōri, the shrine includes several buildings, including gates, a main hall and a stage. The Yasaka shrine is dedicated to Susanoo in the tradition of the Gion faith as its chief kami, with his consort Kushinadahime on the east, and eight offspring deities on the west. The yahashira no mikogami include Yashimajinumi no kami, Itakeru no kami, Ōyatsuhime no kami, Tsumatsuhime no kami, Ōtoshi no kami, Ukanomitama no kami, Ōyatsuhiko no kami, and Suseribime no mikoto.
The Gion Festival is one of the largest and most famous festivals in Japan, taking place annually during the month of July in Kyoto. Many events take place in central Kyoto and at the Yasaka Shrine, the festival's patron shrine, located in Kyoto's famous Gion district, which gives the festival its name. It is formally a Shinto festival, and its original purposes were purification and pacification of disease-causing entities. There are many ceremonies held during the festival, but it is best known for its two Yamaboko Junkō (山鉾巡行) processions of floats, which take place on July 17 and 24.
Kitakyushu is a city located in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of June 1, 2019, Kitakyushu has an estimated population of 940,978, making it the second-largest city in both Fukuoka Prefecture and the island of Kyushu after the city of Fukuoka. It is one of Japan's 20 designated cities, one of three on Kyushu, and is divided into seven wards.
Tejime (手締め), also called teuchi (手打ち), is a Japanese custom of ceremonial rhythmic hand clapping, typically accompanied by enthusiastic exclamation by the participants, performed at the end of a special event to bring the occasion to a peaceful, lively close. Tejime may be performed at the conclusion of such events as a celebration, meeting of shareholders, or the close of bargaining or other business negotiations. Tejime observes fulfillment, realization, and completion.
In Japan, an ochaya is an establishment where patrons are entertained by geisha. A now-archaic term that arose in the Edo period, ochaya in the modern day refers exclusively to the establishments within Kyoto in which geisha work and entertain their clients, though the term is sometimes used to describe all establishments used by geisha to entertain guests, irrespective of location.
Gion Station is a train station located in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka in Japan. Its station symbol is a young male dressed in happi, representing the famous Hakata Gion Yamakasa, held in July each year.
The Takayama Festivals in Takayama in Japan started in the 16th to 17th century. The festivals are believed to have been started during the rule of the Kanamori family. Correspondence dated 1692 place the origin to 40 years prior to that date. One of the festivals is held on 14 and 15 April and the other on 9 and 10 October.
Hiroshi Suga (1945-2013) was a Japanese photographer who is particularly known for his photography of Bali.
Hakata Gion Yamakasa (博多祇園山笠) is a Japanese festival celebrated from the 1st until the 15th of July in Hakata, Fukuoka. The festivities are centered on the Kushida Jinja. The festival is famous for the Kakiyama, that weigh around one ton and are carried around the city as an act of float-racing. The festival is believed to be over 770 years old and attracts up to a million spectators each year. It was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan in 1979. The sound of the Yamakasa has also been selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.
The Shinjō Matsuri (新庄まつりの山車行事) is a Japanese festival celebrated from 24 to 26 August in Shinjō, Yamagata Prefecture. Mikoshi and approximately twenty floats are drawn through the streets, accompanied by odori, drums, and other performers. It has a two hundred and fifty-year history and was designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 2009.
The Hitachi Furyumono (日立風流物) is a parade in Hitachi city, Japan. It is held during Hitachi Sakura Matsuri (日立さくらまつり), the annual cherry blossom festival in April, and the Great Festival at the local Kamine Shrine once in every seven years in May. It is inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists as a part of "Yama, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals in Japan", 33 traditional Japan festivals.
Gozu Tennō is a syncretic Japanese deity of disease and healing. Originally imported to Japan from mainland Asia, he was regarded since the Heian period both as a causer of and protector against epidemics and eventually became amalgamated with the native kami Susanoo during the medieval and early modern periods. During the Meiji period, when the government mandated the separation of Shinto and Buddhism, Shinto shrines dedicated to Gozu Tennō of the Gion cult tradition such as Yasaka Shrine in the Gion district of Kyoto or Tsushima Shrine in Tsushima, Aichi Prefecture officially reidentified their enshrined deity as Susanoo.
Gion worship is a Shinto cult. Originally it revolved solely around Gozu Tenno, but during the Separation of Shinto and Buddhism of the Meiji era the government mandated it shift to revolving around Susanoo.
Matsuri float, also known as a dashi or sansha, is a type of float that is either pulled or carried during a festival in Japan. It is a general term used to refer to any float that is used for this purpose.