The firework that colors the night of a summer is made using gunpowder and metal powder. The various metal powders are mixed in to produce color.
Evidence of the use of firecrackers have been found in China that date back to about the 3rd century BC. During the 6th century, firecrackers evolved with the use of gunpowder. In the beginning, they were like rocket fireworks and were not used as official weaponry.
Fireworks were first manufactured in Japan in the 16th century after the introduction of guns. According to the 'Kyu-chu Hisaku', it is recorded that Tokugawa Ieyasu viewed fireworks in 1613 within the premises of Edo castle. This is also the oldest record of the Japanese word for firework: 'hanabi'.
Mikawa Fireworks are a traditional industry of Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture. Fireworks first began to be made when gunpowder became openly available during the Edo period. The making of firearms developed here in Okazaki and soon evolved into the production of fireworks.
The first fireworks entered Japan when the King of England presented them as a gift to the Shogun in Edo during the 1600s. On the night of August 6th, 1613, Hidetada, the second Shogun of Edo, set off the fireworks to welcome guests. Soon after, many fireworks were made and displayed, but much time was still needed to perfect the methods and skills of its production. Due to the many injuries caused by fireworks, they were once banned by the government.
Some of the most famous Mikawa Fireworks are the sea-based displays and the goldfish fireworks. The first fireworks display to take place in Mikawa was part of a festival held in 1948. The Okazaki Fireworks Display, as it is now known, is still held annually today.
Saidaiji Temple and Kannon'in Temple are located to the north of Eian Bridge, which spans the Yoshii River. This river flows through eastern Okayama prefecture.
The principal image of Saidaiji is of the Senju Kannon or Thousand-armed Avalokiteśvara, and the temple flourished as a branch of Mt Koya's Shingon Buddhism. Saidaiji was established about 1200 years ago. Anryu-shonin founded it in 770~781, but it was renamed as Saidaiji in 1221. According to the temple's history, there were several halls (including Hondo, Jyugyodo, Miedo, Shodo, Kyozo and Kairou) before it was destroyed in a fire in 1229. We know from this that it was a huge temple.
Other than the temple itself, it is famous for a hadaka matsuri ('naked festival') that takes place annually on the 3rd Saturday in February. During the event, nearly naked men undergo a water ritual called 'mizugori' then fight for two wooden sticks called 'shingi'. It is counted as one of Japan's three major eccentric festivals.
The Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival is held every July in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka. Legend has it that in 1241, there was a plague in Hakata. To drive it away, Shouichi Kokushi Bennen, the then resident priest at Shouten Temple, rode on a wooden 'segakidana' (rack for carrying the dead) around the city sprinkling holy water everywhere. This became the start of the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival.
One theory has it that the shape of the 'segakidana' developed over the years to become what is now known as a 'yamakasa' (the circular festival floats), but this is one theory of many and nobody is sure why the floats have this shape.
The climax of the festival is a race, called 'oiyama' (mountain chasing), between teams of men carrying the floats. Many people from surrounding cities come to see it.
The Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival is one of the three great Gion festivals of Japan, and is also a dedication rite at the Kushida Shrine, acting as a spiritual barrier against evil for the city of Hakata. This gallant traditional event is designated as an Intangible Ethnic Cultural Treasure.