NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


飯坂けんか祭り Iizaka-kenka-matsuri Iizaka Kenka Festival

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Iizaka Kenka Festival is held for three days from October 1 to 3 every year at Hachiman Shrine in the town of Iizaka in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture. This event has a history of around 300 years. Together with Danjiri Festival in Kishiwada in Osaka and Oyama-Bayashi in Kakunodate in Akita Prefecture, this festival is regarded as one of the “big three” kenka (literally meaning “a fight”) festivals in Japan.

The highlight of the festival is the Miyairi (entering the shrine) held on the 2nd. At the sign of fireworks displayed at 7:00 PM, six festival floats decorated with colorful lanterns gathered from all parts of town and follow the two mikoshi (portable shrine) that start from the tentative shrine called “Otabisho.” Then the mikoshi and floats go through the town accompanied by gallant beat of the drums and powerful calls of the carriers.

The most spectacular point in the parade is kenka (fight). When the mikoshi enter the shrine precinct, the floats deliberately run towards each other and collide to prevent the mikoshi procession. Intense clash of the floats in the repeated violent beats of the drums is a striking spectacle for visitors.

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Iizaka-machi, Fukushima, Fukushima Prefecture
Iizaka Kenka Festival

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