Hakata Gion Yamagasa

Hakata Gion Yamagasa

July 1-15
The Gion Matsuri at Kyoto is the model for several other Gion festivals in Japan, and the largest of these is the Gion Yamagasa Festival at Fukuoka. The festival involves townspeople on both sides as well as the creators of the famous Hakata dolls. The elaborate floats for which the festival is famous are called yamagasa, and beautiful new dolls are made for them each year.
The festival begins on July 1, when participants purify themselves by collecting sand from the seashore. They put the sand in boxes which are slung beneath the yamagasa. The men wear headbands, happi coats, and traditional Japanese loincloths. The highlight of the festival occurs on the morning of July 15, when the Oiyama race is held. This is a five-kilometer race in which teams of 28 men run while carrying yamagasa weighing about a ton. Traditional Noh dramas are performed at the Kushida Shrine in Fukuoka.
CONTACTS:
Fukuoka Convention and Visitors Bureau
1-10-1 Tenjin Chuo-ku
Fukuoka, 810-0001 Japan
81-9-2733-5050; fax: 81-9-2733-5055
www.welcome-fukuoka.or.jp/lang/english/index.html
SOURCES:
IllFestJapan-1993, p. 82
JapanFest-1965, p. 162
References in periodicals archive ?
The Night of Ad Eater to be held also Saturday night is aimed at entertaining people during the July 1-15 Hakata Gion Yamagasa Festival in the southwestern Japan city, the organizers said.
The float, a centerpiece of the city's Hakata Gion Yamagasa Festival, was assembled at the hall with the aim of exposing the G-7 officials to the city's culture, they said.
The meeting closes July 13 with a children's convention and participation in the Hakata Gion Yamagasa festival.