Last weekend was the annual Kishiwada Danjiri Festival. Some of my students travel to my Smith”s School of English, Sakai Higashi(スミス英会話 堺東校 （月謝）) from as far as Izumisano(泉佐野市） and Kishiwada Cities (岸和田市)from the south. Many of my students enjoy this big traditional Japanese festival each year. These events make living in Japan and teaching English in Japan so much fun.
The story goes that the Danjiri Matsuri Festival goes back to the beginning of the 18th century when Okabe Nagayasu, who ruled this area, appealed to the deity of Fushimi Inari-jinja, a shrine in Kyoto with many adherents. He requested bountiful harvests of five crops including rice, wheat, beans, and different varieties of millet.
A danjiri is an ornately decorated wheeled float that is drawn during the festival. People ride inside and on top of it and playing music. They are about 3.8 m high, 4 m long, 2.5 m wide, and weighs about 4 tons. Famous historical battlefield scenes are painted on its outside. Several are made, in each district of the town, and each is pulled vigorously by 500 to 1,000 men and women. Sometimes at a turn the crowd pulls too hard so that the float fails to turn, instead breaking the eave of a street side house. People are sometimes thrown from the float and injured.
I have attended this great festival in the past and was lucky enough to get an elevated viewing position right on one of the busiest corners. The photo below is a shot of one of the danjiri’s in action being pulled around a corner by a large team of men and women. The men who dance on the top of the danjiri often have overhead wires to consider. This part of the festival is a crowd favorite.
This festival is truley one of the best I have been lucky enough to have experienced in Japan. I recommend you add it to next years Things To Do list.
Smiths’s School of English Nakamozu – スミス英会話 なかもず校 （月謝）
Smiths School of English Sakai Higashi – スミス英会話 堺東校 （月謝）