Kumamoto Prefecture Yamaga Toro Festival

Oct 24, 2011 19:13 댓글 없음


A Dazzling Expression of Darkness and Light

As veterans of Fukuoka’s own Yamakasa know, Kyushu’s summer festivals tend to celebrate manly, sweaty virtues. Yet an elegant, feminine alternative stands out. One of Kumamoto’s Big Three summer festivals, the Yamaga Toro Matsuri offers a brilliant spectacle of darkness and light.
A toro is a kind of paper lantern typically made with a wood or metal frame. The Yamaga Toro Festival uses only local toro created with paper and glue from Yame, Fukuoka Prefecture. Artisans must train for over ten years to master the delicate craft that has been passed down to them intact since the Muromachi Era about 500 years ago.
During the festival, the town is decorated with toro shaped like famous shrines and castles. At midnight of the last day of the festival, these are presented to Omiya Shrine. The other great event is a dance of one thousand women wearing kanatoro, special toro that fit on the head. Lanterns moving gracefully in the darkness to the womenユs steps offer a sight that is unique in the world yet deeply traditional.
Early visitors to Yamaga can also enjoy a splendid 4000-firework display held the day before the festival on the banks of the Kikuchi River. Over 300,000 people make the trek to Yamaga City every year, so we recommend you arrive early to drink in the townユs spirit while enjoying the incredible craftsmanship on display throughout Yamaga.

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