Nada no Kenka Matsuri: One of Japan's Greatest Festivals

12:23:00 PM Pinoy Boy Journals 6 Comments

Dates: October 14th and 15th
Places: Matsubara Hachiman Shrine City, Shirahama-cho Ko, Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture. 

There are no detailed rules or opponents for the vehement collisions of the portable shrines. As soon as the portable shrines are set properly on the men's shoulders and everyone is ready, they are knocked against one another at random, and the moment a portable shrine is hoisted on top of another, the contest is over. The greatest attraction is the struggle among 3 portable shrines when men over 35 wearing white headbands, those of 26-35 with yellow headbands and youths under 26 marked by red headbands, holding bamboo poles in their hands, join in the fight. A vehement struggle unfolds but this is in no way a fight between the men. This festival, which is the largest of the numerous fighting festivals held nationwide, is not only famous in Japan but is also becoming widely known overseas. 

Nada no Kenka Matsuri is the popular name for a festival held at the Matsubara Hachiman Shrine in the town of Shirahama, Himeji City. It came to be called by this name, Kenka Matsuri or 'Fighting Festival' because the mikoshi (portable shrines) are jolted against one another when carried on the shoulders of the men in the parade. The highlight of this festival is Yatai-neri, the parade of "yatai", festival floats, gorgeously decorated with wood carving, gold and silver handiwork and embroidered curtains. The yatai are carried on the shoulders of men and are surrounded by the men holding "shide" (bamboo poles decorated with colorful paper) in their hand. As dusk sets in, illuminations on each of the yatai are lit. 

NOTE: I took this photo in the museum in Yanagawa. I was hoping i could catch the festival during my trip but i was exactly three weeks late. If anyone of you are heading to Japan in October, this cannot be missed.

Additional info sourced from here and here



I've watched docu re this long time ago. Very interesting.

amazing! nakakagulat lng yung pic! thnx for sharing, may natutunan na naman ako. =)

@Rizaleno i know, sa lahat ng mga festivals, isa toh sa pinaka interested ako. I wanna go back to Japan and cover this festival! Very interesting talaga!

@thepinaysolobackpacker Very interesting to visit talaga ang Japan. And this festival is a good reason why. I wanna go back and know more about this festival. Gael, you have to go to Japan. You will love it for sure. Topnotch trip in Asia toh!

Anonymous said...

I searched for some videos of this festival in youtube. Mukhang interesting nga. Rambulan to the max. hehe. It's also my dream to experience a festival abroad. And this festival looks really fun to watch. Thanks for sharing this!

@mylovelylife88 if you're traveling to Japan in October, this is a must experience festival. I find it fun, out of this world and culturally grounded. i love this / thanks so much! how are you? X