Yaya Matsuri

Yaya Matsuri (Shouting Festival)

February 1-8
Like the Kenka Matsuri (Quarrel Festival) held in Himeji, the Yaya Matsuri held in Owase, Japan, during the first week in February features mikoshi, portable shrines, carried through the streets by groups of young men who meet and deliberately crash into each other. The festival takes its name from their shouts—"Yaya! Yaya!"—as they run into one another. Although the origin of this unusual custom is not known, houses located along the route of the procession usually have to put up protective fences to ensure that their property is not damaged.
Several special events, including dances, are held during the weeklong festival. On the last night, there is a ceremony at the Owase Shrine to determine who will participate in the festival the next year.
CONTACTS:
Japan National Tourist Organization
1 Rockefeller Pl., Ste. 1250
New York, NY 10020
212-757-5640; fax: 212-307-6754
www.japantravelinfo.com
SOURCES:
JapanFest-1965, p. 122