Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri: the tour of the carts

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Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri: the tour of the carts

In the small town of Kishiwada, near Osaka, a wave of cries and rich colours sweeps the streets. It is the start of a three-century old festival.

Created in 1703 to supplicate the gods and gain abundant harvests, the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival is distinguished by the wonderful fervour of its participants. Thirty danjiri—large, finely wrought wooden carts representing the different guilds of the city—are pulled with ropes by valiant fellows. It goes without saying that taking bends with these vehicles is very difficult and it is not uncommon for some to flip over and end up in pieces.

Unperturbed by the cries of the crowd and the sound of trumpets, the vigorous haulers never slow down, bellowing out their kakegoe, the rallying cry unique to each danjiri. Good breath and strong calves are prerequisite to honour the gods. Fortunately, when evening arrives after a wild ride of nearly four hours, festivalgoers can finally head to the food stands filled with delicious comestibles to continue the celebration in the most pleasant of manners.

Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri
7-1 Kishikicho, Kishiwada
Osaka Prefecture
From 16 to 17 September 2017