Summer is the time for renewal and a chance to start over. Summer is the time when Japanese go all out in their festivals. You’ll see fireworks and beautifully colored paper mache floats. When you think of summer in Japan, you might imagine all the young girls wearing a yukata, or a summer kimono. You will see masses of people eating shaved ice-cream in the hot, humid weather. Not only are there winter and spring festivals, but there are summer festivals as well. Some festivals that occur during this season are: Sendai Tanabata Matsuri, O-bon, Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival, Nebuta Festival and the Dai-Chochin Matsuri.
To begin with, the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival is held in Fukuoka from July 1st to the 15th. This festival is known for the large floats carried by men. These floats are called yamakasa, and they can weigh up to one ton. This festival is viewed by over one million people. “The men carrying the yamakasa with all their might captures the heart of the people.”(Hakata Gion Yamakasa, Japan: The Official Guide) There are two types of floats, the kazariyama and kakiyama. The Kazariyama are floats that only serve the purpose as decorations. They are displayed all throughout the streets. These floats are around ten feet tall and are elaborately decorated with samurai and anime characters. Before, men would carry these floats, but it would be troublesome today due to the cables. In order to get electricity to light up the kazariyama floats, the people had to connect cables to them. The kakiyama are the floats that are being carried during the festival. Various groups of men compete against one another in a five kilometer race, in the time period of thirty minutes. The men that participate in this event must ...
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