【Festivals】Kishiwada Danjiri Festival: 300 years of history and heart-stopping turns!
Danjiri is the term used in western Japan for the elaborately carved, tall wooden floats used in festivals. The most famous danjiri festival is the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri, held in Kishiwada City, south of Ōsaka. The festival, renowned for the way its massive four ton danjiri floats are raced through the town and dragged around tight corners at high speeds, is held annually during September (Kishiwada and Haruki districts) and October (Higashi Kishiwada, Minamikamori, Yagi, Yamadai, Yamadai-minami and Yamataki districts).
The September festival is particularly famous, attracting over 400,000 visitors each year. The Danjiri Matsuri has become synonymous with the word, ‘yarimawashi’, which refers to the way the danjiri floats are pulled around tight corners without losing any momentum.
The festival is said to have begun in 1703 by Okabe Nagayasu, the feudal lord of Kishiwada, as an invitation to the god of Kyōto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine to ensure a bumper harvest.
The exciting yarimawashi are not the only thing that make this festival a must-see. A highlight for many is watching the fearless performance of the danjiri daiku, the men who guide the turns, dancing and leaping nimbly on the very top of the floats, urging festival participants on and stirring up the crowd to the rhythm of taiko drums and flutes.
Photos courtesy of Kishiwada City Tourism Promotion Section
September Festival Schedule
(Kishiwada and Haruki districts)
Trial run: Sunday September 2; Friday September 14. 14:00〜16:00
Day 1 (Yoimiya): Saturday, September 15th. 06:00〜22:00
Day 2 (Motomiya): Sunday, September 16th. 09:00〜22:00
October Festival Schedule
(Higashi Kishiwada, Minamikamori, Yagi, Yamadai, Yamadai-minami and Yamataki districts)
Test run: Sunday September 30; 13:00〜17:00
Day 1 (Yoimiya): Saturday, October 6th. 06:00〜22:00
Day 2 (Motomiya): Sunday, October 7th. 07:00〜22:00