AnimeFanatika Culture Report: Japanese Festivals (October 07 – October 11, 2014)

We focus on holidays and festivals taking place in Japan over the week.

Nagasaki Kunchi Festival
From 7 – 9 October
Where: Nagasaki

Known as Kunchi, Nagasaki Kunchi or Nagasaki Okunchi this is Nagasaki’s most famous festival. It used to be an autumn harvest celebration (late 16th century) and became a shrine festival since 1642 when the Suwa Shrine was founded.

The Dragon Dance is one of the festival’s most famous performances that were originally performed by the Chinese residents of Nagasaki. Rehearsals for the festival begin on the First of June.

Here is a video of some of the dances performed at the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival:

Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC)
From: 7 – 11 October
Where: Tokyo

CEATEC is an annual trade show and is Japan’s largest IT and Electronics exhibition and conference. It gives companies and organization from across the globe a chance to show off their products, services as well as technologies. It is great for industry networking as well as information gathering and is filled with seminars as well as other activities.

This trade-show is open to the pubic on all but the first day of the exhibition when special invitations or registrations for members of the industry and press are required.

Here is a video of a robot demonstration at CEATEC. It is quite impressive:

Takayama Autumn Matsuri
From: 9 – 10 October
Where: Takayama

The festival is the annual festival of the Saurayuama Hachimangu Shrine. It is a shrine where the people of the northern part of downtown Takayama worship. Some say the festival starts on the 7th already when the order of the procession of floats is decided. On the 9th after the ritual ceremony at the shrine, the festival procession of hundreds of people in traditional costumes begins. The festival is filled with marionette performances dedicated to the Gods during the day while at night the beautifully decorated floats mesmerize the crowds.

The last day ends with lots of Shinto music while a Mikoshi (Portable shrine) is carried through the town. The festival then ends with another ritual ceremony at the shrine in a solemn atmosphere.

Here is a great video with even more information on this festival. Enjoy!