Karatsu Kunchi

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Lively Festival in Karatsu

The Karatsu Kunchi Festival held at Karatsu Shrine is an Autumn celebration in the city of Karatsu. The festival features daily parades of fourteen hikiyama, or massive floats, designed as samurai helmets, dragons, sea creatures, and other magical beasts from Japanese Mythology. These gigantic floats are created with wood, lacquer, and other materials before being finished with gold and silver leaf. While the floats are normally displayed year round at the Karatsu Shrine, the 14 floats come alive when they take the streets while being carried by members selected from families living in the fourteen traditional neighborhoods of Karatsu. When carrying these massive floats, many chant En-ya or Yoi-sa to the sound of taiko drums and flutes to get in the festive spirit. The event draws in anywhere from 150,000 to 500,000 people, and has been labled an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property by the Japanese Government. The list of floats in the parade include:

  1. The Red Lion
  2. The Green lion
  3. The Turtle and Urashima Taro
  4. Samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune's Helmet
  5. The Sea bream
  6. The Phoenix-shaped ship
  7. The Flying dragon
  8. The Golden lion
  9. Takeda Shingen's Helmet
  10. Uesugi Kenshin's Kabuto
  11. The Drunken ogre on Minamoto Yorimitsu's Helmet
  12. The Lion on a orb
  13. The Tiger-headed orca
  14. The Boat of seven treasures
Lively Festival in Karatsu

Karatsu Kunchi | Tours

Karatsu Kunchi Festival

Karatsu Kunchi | Related Pages

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