Hakata Gion Yamakasa Kazariyama Guide 2016

Hakata Gion Yamakasa is in full swing! Although you still have to wait a few days for the main event (the Oiyama on July 15, for more info on the big day’s festivities click here), you can take the opportunity to visit the various different decorative Yamakasa floats. These floats, known as kazariyama, are located around the city for public viewing until July 15. And this year, due to the 99th Lions Clubs Annual International Convention coming to town, most of the kazariyama are up early (from Jun. 24) – which means even more opportunities to see these massive masterpieces up close! In the past, these tall kazariyama were raced through the streets, heaved around the course by local teams. Nowadays, however, they are used only for display (they’re so staggeringly tall that they kept getting caught in electric cables). Every year, the floats are designed and built from scratch by professional Hakata doll makers. To fully appreciate the craftsmanship of these decorative floats, we encourage you to visit the kazariyama in person; each one has a cordoned off viewing area with seating provided. But if you can’t make it to any of the float venues, our summer intern, Alba, has taken photos of this year’s line-up for you! So lay back, and enjoy the craftsmanship and detailed design that make each float unique.

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View Yamakasa Map 2015 in a larger map

Float #2 Nakasu Nagare
On display at: Nakasu, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 智略真田勇戦誉(Chiryaku Sanada Yusen no Homare)
Brave Fight and Honor of the Clever Sanada – Rough translation
Back theme: 一休知恵競之妙(Ikkyu Chiekurabe no Myou)
(Ikkyu’s Wits) – Rough translation

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#2 Nakasu Nagare FRONT & BACK

Float #4 Chiyo Nagare
On display at: Chiyo, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 真田日本一之兵(Sanada HinomotoIchi no Tsuwamono)
Sanada: Japan’s Strongest Warrior – Rough translation
Back theme: 蘭陵王(Ranryo Oh)
Prince of Lanling – Rough translation

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#4 Chiyo Nagare FRONT & BACK

Float #8 Kamikawabata-dori
On display at: Kamikawabata machi, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 西遊記(Saiyuki)
Saiyuki – Journey to the West – Rough translation
Back theme: 本朝廿四孝(Honcho Nijushi Koh)
Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety of Our Country – Rough translation

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#8 Kamikawabata-dori 2016 FRONT & BACK

Float #9 Hakataeki Shoten Rengokai
On display at: Hakata Station, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 猛将幸村夏之陣(Moushou Yukimura Natsu no Jin)
Summer Siege of Brave Warrior Yukimura – Rough translation
Back theme: 華丸・大吉のなんしようと?(Hanamaru Daikichi no Nanshiyoto?)
Comedian: Hanamaru and Daikichi’s “What’s up?” – Rough translation

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#9 Hakataeki Shoten Rengokai 2016 FRONT & BACK

Float #10 Canal City Hakata
On display at: Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 春興鏡獅子(Shunkyo Kagami Jishi)
Young Yayoi and the Spirit of the Lion – a Kabuki piece – Rough translation
Back theme: 蜂侍天下無双誉(Hachi Zamurai Tenka Musou no Homare)
The Victorious Samurai Wasps (Avispa Fukuoka) – Rough translation

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#10 Canal City Hakata 2016 FRONT & BACK

Float #11 Kawabata Chuogai
On display at: Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 日本一の兵(Hinomotoichi no Tsuwamono)
Japan’s Strongest Warrior) – Rough translation
Back theme: 「ももたろう」 (Momotaro)
Momotaro – The Peach Boy – Rough translation

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#11 Kawabata-chuogai 2016 FRONT & BACK

Float #12 Solaria
On display at: Solaria Plaza, Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 決戦川中島(Kessen Kawanakajima)
Battle of Kawanakajima – Rough translation
Back theme: 山崎の合戦(Yamazaki no Kassen)
Battle of Yamazaki – Rough translation

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#12 Solaria 2016 FRONT & BACK

Float #13 Shintencho
On display at: Shintencho, Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 須佐之男切大蛇(Susano Orochi wo Kiru)
The Divine Susano Slays the Serpent – Rough translation
Back theme: サザエさん(Sazae san)
Ms. Sazae – Rough translation

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#13 Shintencho 2016 FRONT & BACK

Float #14 Hakata Riverain
On display at: Hakata Riverain, Shimokawabata-machi, Hakata-ku
Front theme: 戦国桶狭間(Sengoku Okehazama)
Battle of Okehazama in the Warring States Period – Rough translation
Back theme: 昔話博多勢揃い(Mukashibanashi Hakata Seizoroi)
Hakata’s Folktales – Rough translation

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#14 Hakata Riverain FRONT & BACK

Float #15 Tenjin 1-Chome
On display at: Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 大坂冬の陣(Osaka Fuyu no Jin)
Winter Siege of Osaka – Rough translation
Back theme: 大坂夏の陣(Osaka Natsu no Jin)
Summer Siege of Osaka – Rough translation

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#15 Tenjin 1 Chome 2016 FRONT & BACK

Float #16 Watanabe-dori 1-Chome
On display at: Watanabe-dori, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 決闘巌流島(Kettou Ganryujima)
Duel of Ganryujima island– Rough translation
Back theme: 愛と勇気のアンパンマン(Ai to Yuki no Anpanman)
Anpanman: Love and Courage – Rough translation

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#16 Watanabe-dori 1 Chome 2016 FRONT & BACK

Float #17 Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome
On display at: Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome, Jigyohama, Chuo-ku
Front theme: 熱男翔若鷹(Atsuo tobu Wakataka)
The Soaring “Atsuo” Hawks (SoftBank Hawks) – Rough translation
Back theme: 奇襲桶狭間決戦(Kisyu Okehazama no Kessen)
Raid Battle of Okehazama – Rough translation

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#17 Dome Kazariyama 2016 FRONT & BACK

Extra: Kushida Jinja Shrine
On display at: Kushida Jinja Shrine (Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku)
Front theme: 京都五條橋之上(Kyou no Gojo no Hashi no ue)
On the Gojo Bridge in Kyoto – Rough translation
Back theme: 古事記稲羽素兎(Kojiki Inabano Shiro Usagi)
The Ancient Tales of the Hare of Inaba – Rough translation

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Kushida Shrine 2016 FRONT & BACK

Photos: Alba Tinelli, for Fukuoka Now

Originally written in Jun. 2016.
Copyright Fukuoka Now – including all text, photos and illustrations. Permission required to re-use in any form. Meanwhile, feel free to link to to this page.

NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by the Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy, there might be errors and details may have changed. If you notice any errors or changes, please contact us. This report was originally written in Jun. 2016.

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