NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2006/12/13


狐の嫁入り Kitsune-no-yomeiri Kitsunen no yomeiri (The Fox’s Wedding) 

Jp En

Once upon a time, in the mountain of Kirin at confluence of the Agano River and the Tokonami River, there used to live a lot of foxes and kitsunebi (mysterious fireballs) were seen every night. Because the kitunebi looked like a line of paper lanterns used for a wedding parade, the people in this area began to call the fireballs “kitsune no yomeiri.” In the town of Tsugawa, reproducing this local legend, the annual event of “Tsugawa kitsune no yomeiri Parade” is held on May 3. The couple who will get married soon take the parts of the groom and the bride and the wedding parade goes around the town. The procession starting at Sumiyoshi Shrine, crossing the Agano River and heading for the top of Mt. Kirin creates fantastic atmosphere. The parade has been held since the old times when people believed that they could gather a rich harvest in the year in which a lot of kitsunebi could be seen (namely the year when they could see the parade).
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2006/12/11


弘前のねぷた祭り Hirosaki-no-Neputa-matsuri The Neputa festival of Hirosaki

Jp En

The Hirosaki Neputa, a summer festival held in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, is one of the four major festivals in Hirosaki. The people of Hirosaki parade throughout the city towards the call of "Yahh-Yahh-Do", pulling the parade floats of warrior figures and warrior paintings. Around 70 neputa parade floats, including the ougi-neputa (a fan-shaped neputa) and kumi neputa (a man-shaped neputa), run during the festival.
It is told that neputa beganin the second year of the Bunroku period (1593), when the patriarch Tamenobu Sato held a huge, 2 ken square-sized lantern (approximately 3.62meters square) in the Urabone festival during his stay in Kyoto.
There are a variety of tastes in today’s Hirosaki Neputa, such as Kodomo-Neputa (Children’s Neputa), and Mae-Tourou (lantern with letters on the front side). The dynamic beauty of these floats overwhelms the viewer. The powerful Kagamie is displayed on the front, and the fascinating beauty Miokurie appears on the back.
The Hirosaki Neputa wasdesignated  an important intangible folk-cultural property of the country in 1980 (Showa 55).
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2006/11/29


百物揃千人武者行列 Hyakumonozoroe-sennin-mushagyouretsu Hyakumonozoroe Sennin Musha Gyoretsu

Jp En

Hyakumonozoroe Sennin Musha Gyoretsu (the 1,000 Samurais Procession Festival) is the revival of the ceremony held when the divine spirit of Ieyasu Tokugawa was moved from Mt. Kuno, Shizuoka Pref. to Nikko. This is the highlight of the annual celebrations at Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Tochigi Pref.. The festival is held twice a year on May 18th and Oct 17th. The authorized name is Shinyo-togyo (moving of divine portable shrines). The grand procession leaves Nikko Futara Shrine on the morning of May 17, marching along are promenades, bow carriers and over one thousand warriors in armor who guard the three divine portable shrines respectively enshrining the spirit of Ieyasu, Minamoto no Yoritomo and Hideyoshi Toyotomi. The next day on 18th, the shrines move to Otabisho Shrine through the 1km long road of Omotesando (front approach). Every year tens of thousands of tourists come to see this highlight event.
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