NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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はんだ山車まつり Handa-dashi-matsuri Handa Dashi (Float) Festival

Jp En

Handa City located in the center of Chita Peninsula in the south of Aichi Prefecture had been a flourishing port town since the Edo period (1603-1868). Storehouses along the canal are still in use today and make a fine townscape.  

Handa Spring Dashi (Float) Festivals, which proud 200-year history, are held in 10 districts of Handa City from early in March to late in May every year, and Handa Dashi Festival is held in October once every 5 years, gathering 31 valiant floats in the city at one place.

The 1st Handa Dashi Festival was held in May in 1979, and then the 2nd was held in 1987 as the 50th anniversary event of the city. Since then the festival has been held in October once every 5 years to this day.

Decorated with gorgeous tapestries and elaborate carvings, the floats valiantly march throughout the city, heading for the festival site. The scene of the all 31 floats gathering at one place is overwhelmingly impressive.

Many other fascinating events such as the folk performing art show, the citizens’ parade and the local product fair are held all through the city. During the two-day festival period, the whole town is filled with enthusiastic festival mood under the autumn sky.
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大池古窯 Ooike-koyou Oike Old Kilns

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The ruins of old kilns were discovered when an athletic park was being constructed in Handa City, Aich Prefecture. They are considered to be the kilns used from the middle of the 12th to the early 13th centuries. Currently, 3 of the eight kilns are preserved in their original forms and displayed inside the preservation center in the park.

From their relatively small sizes, they are supposed to be used mainly for firing small vessels including bowls, which are called “Yamajawan” by locals. Yamajawan, literally meaning “a mountain bowl,” is a defected product that was thrown away around the kilns. When the mountains were cultivated by the people in later periods, they discovered a lot of pottery bowls and called them “Yamajawan.” There are supposed to have been thousands of kilns built in the mountains in Chita Peninsula.
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野間大坊 Noma-daibou Noma Daibo

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Noma Daibo, or formally named Omidoji Temple, is a temple belonging to the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Its history dates back to the era ruled by Emperor Tenmu in the middle of the 7th century.

Noma Daibo is famous as the place where Minamoto no Yoshitomo, the father of Yoritomo and Yoshitsune, was killed unarmed when he was taking a bath. In 1159, Yoshitomo was defeated by the Taira clan in the Heiji Rebellion and escaped from Kyoto, heading for the east via Mino province and Chita Peninsula. In the village of Noma, Yoshitomo stayed at the residence of Osada Tadamune, Yoshitomo’s retainer Kamata Masakiyo’s father-in-law, who betrayed Yoshitomo for the reward from the Taira clan and killed him in the bathroom.

In the precinct is Yoshitomo’s grave, which is surrounded by wooden swaords, as it is said that Yoshitomo’s last words were “If only I had a wooden swaor, I wouldn’t have been killed.” It is also believed that one who dedicates a wooden sword here will have his prayer answered.

The Blood Pond, where the betrayes washed Yoshitomo’s head, and the ruins of the bathroom also remain in the precinct.
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板山獅子 Itayama-jishi Itayama Lion Dance

Jp En

Itayama Lion Dance is one of the three lion dances passed down in Handa City in Aichi Prefecture. It is a kind of the lion play that was introduced from the northern part of the prefecture to the areas in Chita Peninsula at the end of the Edo period (the mid-19th century). The lion plays were dedicated to the guardian god of the villages in this area at annual festivals to pray for a rich harvest. Today only a few have been passed down.

A man in women’s colorful juban (an undergarment slip), black montsuki (a kimono with a family crest), indigo blue momohiki (pants) and white tabi (socks) dances and performs kabuki repertoire pieces to the sounds of Japanese large and small drums and wood clappers and Gidayu chanting. It is prefecturally designated as an intangible folk cultural property.
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