Last up date:2004/1/7
GIANT KITE FESTIVALS IN JAPAN
  • Calender of Kite Festivals in JAPAN.


    There are so many kite festivals in Japan. Those kite festivals have their own history, scale, culture and feature.
    Among the many kite festivals in Japan, the famous big and giant kite festivals are offered on this page.
    If you want to get more information about those kite festivals, please submit your mail to me.



    HAMAMATSU IKAZAKI SAGAMI SANJO SHIRONE SHOWAMACHI YOKAICHI WANWAN
    HAMAMATSU
    Hamamatsu kite festival is said to be inherited from Eiroku Era(1558-1569). To celebrate the birth of first son of Iiwo Buzenn-no-Kami (the Loard of Hikuma Castle), a large kited with the name of the new born heir, Yoshihiro, was flown.
    This is beleived to be the origin of kite flying in Hamamatsu. Huge fighting kites, each side measuring 1.5m to 3.64m, are brought from more than 164 town blocks in Hamamatsu. The kite is called as Machijirushi, because a large mark of each town block is painted on their own kite. Machi means town and Jirushi means mark.
    Fifty young men wearing Happi coats especially designed for this occaion pull skillfully the string of their town's kite. The string is made of hemp yarn which diameter is about 5.5mm. Each town block groups fight together with one another to cut string of the opponent's kite with their own kites. The number of attendants during festival May 3 to 5 every year are more than two million !!!
    There are seven kinds of size by square and those have each side of 1.5m, 2.1m, 2.4m, 2.65m, 2.9m, 3.25m, and 3.64m. The kite needs long tails made by rope which length are 15 to 20 times of the size of kite.
    This festival is large scale of fighting kite festivals and they fight with kites of each town in Hamamatsu.
    The festival will be held on 3rd to 5th, May every year.


    164 Machijirushi kites which participate to the Festival are offered at MACHIJIRUSHI

    Person to contact: Mr.Heizo Itou
    Address: 5-51, Tenjin-machi, Hamamatsu-shi, Shizuoka-pref. 4300808 JAPAN
    Phone: +81-53-463-2089
    Fax: +81-53-461-1588


    IKAZAKI
    Ikazaki town is located in Ehime prefecture, Shikoku island in Japan. Ikazaki Kite Festival has its long history over 400 years. The kite festival is held on the children's day(May 5th) for praying happiness and prosperity of children who was born in previous year.
    Name of the child is painted on the kite and they celebrate the children's birth and their future happiness.
    The size of Ikazaki kite is 3m wide x4m high. Kite fighting festival has more than 1000 kites in the sky and they are fighting to cut other kite's string with 'Gagari'(cutting tool) fastnend to the string.
    You should visit to Ikazaki Kite Museum in which more than 400 kinds of kites and traditional kiting tools are displayed.
    The festival will be held on May 5, and October every year.


    Person to contact : Mr.Takao Morinaga
    Address : c/o Ikazaki Town office
    168, Ooaza Hiraoka,Ikazaki-machi, Kita-gun, Ehime pref. 7950303 JAPAN
    Phone : +81-893-44-2121
    Fax : +81-893-43-1912
    E-mail address: bigkite@shikoku.or.jp
    Web Site1
    Dancing Frog Kites' page.


    SAGAMI
    Sagami Ohdako (Sagami Giant Kite) is very famous for its huge scale of the kite. Sagami city is located in Kanagawa prefecture near by Tokyo. This kite festival is held at the bank of Sagami river on May 5 every year.
    The origin of this kite festival has been held since 1830. The size of Sagami Giant Kite is 14.4m wide x 14.4m high. It weights 880kg. The appropriate wind speed for this kite is 10m/s to 15m/s. Building cost of the kites is about 1,820,000yen . More than 90 people are required to fly this kite in the sky.


    Zama giant kite is also famous for its large size. The large Kites of Zama


    SANJO(ROKKAKU)
    SANJO kite festival is called "Ika Gassen"(Kite Fighting). The origin of the festival is the kite fighting between the children of resident and the children of government officials in 1649. This kite fighting between children grew up to the kite fighting between towns. Rokkaku kite of Sanjo is very famous in the world for its excellent flight feature and simple design. Sanjo is the place of origin of Rokkaku.
    There are five kinds of kite scales for Ika Gassen.
    Those are 1.74m wide x 2.17m high, 900g, 2.12m wide x 2.85m high, 1.6kg, 2.55m wide x 3.28m high, 2.3kg, 3.22m wide x 4.25m high, 5kg and 4.12m wide x 5.15m high, 9.5kg.
    The festival will be held on June 6 to 8, 1998.


    Person to contact: Mr.Naruji Sudou
    Address : 2-2-16, Higashi Uradate, Sanjo-shi, Niigata Pref. 9550081 JAPAN
    Phone : +81-25-633-0616
    Dancing Frog Kites' page.


    SHIRONE
    Shirone fighting kite festival is said to be began at 1740. Kite fighting is held at the both banks of Nakanokuchi river which width is about 80m. The size of kite is 5m wide , 7m high and weights 30kg. The building cost is about 1,500,000yen.
    Each seven groups of both sides of the river fight together with their own kite.
    The festival will be held on the first Thursday through Sunday of June every year.


    Person to contact : Mr.Kazuo Tamura
    Address : c/o Shirone Ootako to Rekishi no Yakata
    1770-2, Jougesuwanoki, Shirone-shi, Niigata Pref. 950-1214 JAPAN
    Phone : +81-25-372-0314
    Fax : +81-25-372-0316
    Dancing Frog Kites' page.


    SHOWAMACHI(HOSHUBANA)
    It is handed down to the present day that a famous Buddhist priest told the residant in Showamachi kite flying for praying the prosperity of the sericultural industry in late Edo period.
    Since the late Edo period, this kite festival is held on the site of Edo river bank near Nishihoushubana on May 3 and May 5 every year. The kite is painted with two colors such as green and red.Red signifies the sun and green symbolized the ground.
    The size of the huge kite is 11m width and 16m height and weights 800kg and has 200 bridles which length is 40m. It has been called the "100 Mat Kite" for its big size. The main performers are young native men, who belong to the Big Kite Culture Association, wearing 'a hanten'(a white short coat) in red and green and a hachimaki(a head band) on their heads. They hoist the huge kite with a shout of encouragement at the sign of a bell ringing and try to fly it into the clear sky.
    You should visit to Odako Kaikan(Big Kite Museum) located in Showamachi. 450 kinds of kites in Japan and around the world are displayed.
    The festival will be held on May 3 to 5 every year.


    Person to contact : Mr.Kiyoshi Takeda
    Address : c/o Odako Kaikan,
    637, Ooaza-Nishihoujubana, Showa-machi, Kitakatsushika-gun,
    Saitama Pref. 3440102,JAPAN
    Phone: +81-48-748-1555
    Fax: +81-48-748-1330
    Web Site


    YOKAICHI
    The origin of Yokaichi Kite festival is 1841, late of Edo period. At first small kite such as Yakko was flew in memory of the birth of son. The size of kite glew up to large scale such as present scale.
    The size of the bigi kite is 12m wide x 13m high and weights 700kg. The largest kite ever buit in the festival is 19m wide x 20.5m high and weights 1500kg. In 1994 the flight endurance time of 2hour 5minute record was established.
    There are "World Kite Museum" in Yokaichi. You can see the process of building a huge kite at the museum.
    The festival will be held on the fourth Sunday of May every year.


    Person to contact : Mr.Katsuhisa Torii
    Address: c/o Yokaichi Oodako Kaikan
    3-5,Higashihonmachi,Yokaichi-shi, Shiga pref. 5270025 JAPAN
    Phone/Fax : +81(Japan)-748-23-0081
    E-mail: torii-k@biwa.ne.jp
    Web Site


    WANWAN
    The origin of WANWAN kite is said to began in 1692. WANWAN kite has its size of about 10m or more diameter. The largest WANWAN kite which has ever been made and flew had the size of 20m diameter.
    The birth place of WANWAN kite is Tokushima prefecture, Shikoku island. Because of the huge scale and weight of the kite, strong wind and many people are needed to fly it successfully into the sky.


    Person to contact : Mr.Umeo Fujinaka
    Address: 6-10-3, Yagura, Ohtsu-machi, Naruto-city, Tokushima Pref. 7720035 JAPAN
    Phone: +81(Japan)-886-86-1567



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