One of the “Tohoku Rokkon Sai” (Tohoku Six Soul Festivals)
In Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture, the “Fukushima Waraji Matsuri” (Straw-sandals Festival) is usually held for two days on the weekend in early August. The dedication of the large “straw-sandals” made for Deva Kings is the origin of this festival.
The highlight of this festival is the size of the straw sandals. The 12 meter long, 2 ton large straw sandals make it seem too big for Deva Kings. This is a very powerful thing because it parades around the venue. It carries 2 tons of large straw sandals manually. It’s hard because it’s in the midsummer heat.
The enthusiasm of the venue and the passion of everyone will make the hot summer even hotter, and this is also the highlight of “Fukushima Waraji Matsuri”.
And the next highlight is “Waraji Dance”. In the course, dance to the “Heisei waraji Ondo”, a group of dancers dances gorgeously. A unique costume suits the reggae-style Heisei waraji ondo well.
One of the highlights is the waraji competition on the last day. It is a unique thing that runs sprinting with waraji, but the heat of the venue is the climax so that no one does not support the serious running figure.
Both the participants and the audience seemed to be very happy, and you can clearly see that they are homemade local festivals.
It is a festival that attracts 260,000 visitors including the participants in two days, but it is a wonderful festival that conveys the passion of local lovers.
Charms and Highlights of Fukushima Waraji Matsuri
A fun event just watching
Fukushima Waraji Matsuri (Straw-sandals Festival) is a festival held every year with Shinobu Street in Fukushima-city, Fukushima Prefecture as the venue. The festival is a popular festival where a total of 260,000 people visit for two days. It is also one of the Tohoku Rokkon-sai Festival which started as a wish for the soul of the Tohoku earthquake and early recovery.
Tohoku Rokkon-sai Festival also includes Akita Kanto Festival, Aomori Nebuta Festival, Sendai Tanabata Festival, Morioka Sansa-odori Festival and Yamagata Hanagasa Festival.
“Fukushima Waraji Matsuri” started with reference to “Shinobu-Sanzan-Akatsuki-Mairi” held every February. “Shinobu-Sanzan-Akatsuki-Mairi” is a festival with a long history of continuing from the Edo era. One of the great “Waraji” (straw-sandal) is dedicated at this festival and the other is dedicated at “Fukushima Waraji Matsuri”.
It is reported that the origin of “Fukushima Waraji Matsuri” is the beginning of dedication of “waraji” to Haguro – jinja Shrine in Mt. Shinobu so that people going to the Ise Shrine can visit safely. “Waraji” (Straw-sandals) is the same size as the Nioh Statue who is in the shrine, it is a huge one that is 12 meters in length and 12 tons in weight. At the festival, this “gigantic waraji” will be dedicate by 70 people.
“Waraji Matsuri” is held in Shima City in Mie Prefecture etc. besides Fukushima Prefecture, but it is said that the one of “Fukushima Waraji Matsuri” is the largest in terms of the size of the waraji.
“Fukushima Waraji Matsuri” sights are old fashioned Bon Festival style “Waraji Dance”, “Waraji Competition”, Hip Hop style “Dancing Soda Night” and so on. “Dancing Soda Night” is a fun event just watching that a total of 50 teams, over 3000 people will participate and show off the original choreography dance.
Access to the venue is good from JR Fukushima station, so it is recommended to go by public transport.
Take the Japan Railway Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station and get off at Fukushima Station. From there you can reach the destination in about 5 minutes on foot.
The length of 12 meters and the weight of 2 tons
In Fukushima-shi, Fukushima Prefecture, the “Fukushima Waraji Matsuri” (Straw-sandals Festival) is held every two days in early August every year, and approximately 260,000 visitors come every year. On the first day, the large Waraji with the length of 12 meters and the weight of 2 tons will be dedicated.
There are lively events such as “Waraji Dance”, “Dancing Soda Night”, “Waraji competition”.
According to the size of the statue of Nio (two Deva kings)
Fukushima Waraji Matsuri derives from “Akatsuki Mairi”. “Akatsuki Mairi” seems to have started dedicating the large straw-sandals that were made according to the size of the statue of Nio (two Deva kings) who was placed in “Shinobu Sanzan Haguro Jinja Shrine” in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture.
For the healthy legs and safety
Therefore, it came to dedicate straw sandals to the healthy legs and safety prayers when people travel on long trips.
This is the festival called “Akatsuki Mairi” held in February every year.
One of the Tohoku 6 great festivals
After that, based on the origin of Akatsuki Mairi, Fukushima City came to hold “Fukushima Waraji Matsuri” in August every year in order to have many people enjoy the Tohoku (Northeast area of Japan) Summer Festival, while keeping the tradition of the biggest straw-sandals in Japan. It began to hold. This festival is counted as one of the Tohoku 6 great festivals.
Splendid dance with hot and various costumes
On the first day, after dedicating the biggest straw-sandals in Japan to the venue, the women in a yukata-style, men in happi coat (a workman’s livery coat), dance gently according to “Heisei Waraji Ondo” (A Folk Song of Straw-sandals for a Dance). Continuously, “Dancing Soda Night” is held on the rhythm of hip-hop, various groups will show off a splendid dance with hot and various costumes.
Information(Access, Price/Charge, Tel, Address, Official site, etc.)
|Name:||Fukushima Waraji Matsuri (Straw-sandals Festival)|
|Address:||Okitamacho Fukushima, Fukushima 960-8034 Japan|
|Access:||JR Ouu-honsen Line “Fukushima-eki Station” (5 minutes walk)|
|Tel:||(+81) 24-536-5511 (Fukushima Waraji Festival Executive Committee)|