Japan Atlas: Festivals 

Location: Kishiwada City, Osaka Pref.

 Date: September 14-15

 Number of Danjiri: 32



Several Dozen Floats Heroically Dash around the Town 

The Danjiri Festival is held annually on the 14th and 15th of September at Kishiki Shrine in Kishiwada City, Osaka Prefecture. A danjiri is a traditional type of wooden float, decorated with various ornaments, that is drawn around the town during festival days. Depending on the festival and locality they may also be called dashi, yamagasa or yatai. Around 30 massive floats made from unpainted wood play the major role during this festival, and, it is known as the Danjiri Festival. 

From early in the morning to late in the evening of September 14th, groups of young people draw around the town the floats that are the pride of the neighborhood in which they live. If they should run into a danjiri from another neighborhood, the participants compete to ram the floats into each other in encounters. This is why the Danjiri Festival is often referred to as fighting festival. 

On September 15th gigantic floats are drawn, as fast as possible, around the town. These danjiri are designed to go around corners at high speed and the highlight of this festival is the sight of the danjiri being maneuvered round the corners of the narrow streets at breakneck speed with abrupt right-angled changes of direction. The greatest spectacle is the sudden turn that comes after the danjiri have been drawn up the steep slope that leads to the site of Kishiwada Castle. Sometimes the danjiri are drawn with excessive zeal and, going too fast for the corner, they topple over or crash into a telephone pole or building. 

Photos: Danjiri Festival (Kishiwada City)

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