NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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三河花火 Mikawa-hanabi Mikawa Fireworks

Jp En

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.
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手筒花火 Tezutu-hanabi Tezutsu Hanabi Fireworks

Jp En

Tezutsu ('hand-tube') hanabi are fireworks consisting of a large bamboo cylinder that is held in the hands and fired. Smokeless black gunpowder fires out from the top of the tube opening. The main tube of the firework is hollowed out from a green bamboo about 10cm in diameter and 70~80cm long. Hemp rope is twined around it.

The origin of tezutsu hanabi is believed to be the 'noroshi', which was a form of communication by beacons in the Civil War period. With the introduction of black gunpowder and the gun, noroshi improved greatly. In 1700 (Ganroku 13), was being described as the 'giant noroshi'. It is considered that 'noroshi' had developed well enough by that time, to be appreciated more as a firework, than as smoke communication. Later, tezutsu hanabi were used as a form of prayer at festivals for bumper crops.

The gigantic column of flame shooting out from the tezutsu hanabi is vigorous, mesmerizing the viewer with its thrilling sound and light like an Ukiyo-e print.
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