NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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お祭 チャグチャグ馬コ Omatsuri Chaguchagu-umako Chagu-Chagu-Umako Fesival

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The Chagu-Chagu-Umako Fesival is a parade that begins at Onikoshi-souzen Shrine in Takizawa and finishes at Hachiman Shrine in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture.

The festival is held on the second Saturday of June each year. About 100 local horses decorated in colorful outfits slowly parade as part of the festival.

The festival is held to pray for the safety of both people and horses, as this was traditionally a horse-breeding area. This festival goes back to feudal times when houses in the local Nanbu-Magariya style incorporated features for the excellent care of horses.

It is believed that the Chagu-Chagu-Umako Festival was originally a time to rest horses in the off-seasons, and developed into the parade seen today.

'Chagu-chagu' is the name of the bells hanging from the necks of the horses. The sound of their jingling in early summer has been selected as one of Japan's 100 scenes with sound, and has also been designated as an intangible folklore cultural asset of the nation.
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三春駒 Miharugoma Miharu-goma Horse Toys

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Miharu-goma horse toys are part of a traditional wooden-toy craftmaking tradition in Miharu, Tamura district, Fukushima prefecture. Miharu-goma, along with Yawata-goma of Aomori prefecture and Kinoshita-goma of Miyagi prefecture, are known as the three best wooden horse toys of Japan.

Wooden horse toys were first made following a legend that a wooden horse had appeared to help the Heian shogun, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, in a close battle with Emishi.

These toy horses come in two basic body colors, white or black, while the whip, saddle and accessories are painted in red, black, gold and purple.

These toy horses express the love the Miharu people have for horses. Miharu has traditionally been a horse-breeding area.

The wooden horses consist of two basic carved pieces that fit perfectly together using joints and notches. Several accessories are added to show the dynamism of the horse. When the white and black horse are placed together they are extremely cute. There is a Miharu wooden horse decorating the finishing post of the Fukushima racecourse.
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