Speaking of summer in Kumamoto Prefecture, one of the highlights is “Hinokuni Matsuri” (Festival in the Fire Country). The first event of “Hinokuni Matsuri” was held in 1978 and it is a festival that has been going on for 40 years since then. It is a big event all the residents of Kumamoto know. It is an all-participation type festival where all people can enjoy it.
It is a summer festival held the first Friday and Saturday of August every year. “Otemoyan” which is a representative dance of this festival is changing every year, and it attracts many people as a modern art which mixed folk songs and pops. Recently, guidance was given in English, and attracted attention also from abroad. It is also an international event that is increasingly powering up.
The most interesting point of “Hinokuni Matsuri” is “Otemoyan Soodori” where everyone dances to Kumamoto folk song “Otemoyan”. It is a simple and easy-to-understand choreography so that tourists who visited Kumamoto as well as Kumamoto citizens can dance, so anyone can enjoy themselves easily. You will be able to taste a sense of unity that is unprecedented, dancing to the rhythm of ecstatic music. How about this memories of the summer?
And people will further heat up with “Samba Otemoyan” which remixed “Otemoyan” dancing to traditional folk songs and made it up tempo. Procession walking around Kumamoto city directs extraordinary daily life. Join into dancing is also possible, so be sure to visit the feeling of energy produced by dancing.
Hinokuni Matsuri (Festival in the Fire Country) is a citizen participation type summer festival held every year in Kumamoto City. It is a festival with rich local color that anyone can enjoy easily and casually, it is a summer scene of Kumamoto. The main event is “Otemoyan Soodori” (Otemoyan Dance) that about 5,000 people dance in the city center every year, both dancers and spectators are excited together. In addition, in the arcade street boasting the largest scale of West Japan, a variety of events and food and drink booths are opened and festivals that young and old can enjoy.
The Hinokuni Matsuri Festival is held every weekend in the beginning of August. In “Otemoyan Soodori” of Hinokuni Matsuri Festival, dancers wearing a costume in accordance with Kumamoto folk song “Otemoyan” and a light rhythm “Samba Otemoyan” dance and walk along the central part in Kumamoto. By the way, at “Otemoyan Soodori”, it seems that the audience can jump in and dance.
Otemoyan Soodori cancels the partial section of City Tram Line, sets it to pedestrians’ paradise (being kept completely free of cars and trains), and is held. The rhythm of intense Samba and Otemoyan’s music echoes in Kumamoto city.
By the way, Otemoyan song is characteristic of Kumamoto’s own lyrics by Kumamoto’s folk songs. Kumamoto City distributes CD of Otemoyan for free.
In Kumamoto City, you seem to be able to take dancing lessons as well. So, in order to enjoy the Hinokuni Matsuri Festival, you may learn Otemoyan’s lyrics and learn dancing and participate.
|Name:||Hinokuni Matsuri (Festival in the Fire Country)|
|Address:||Tetorihoncho 1-1 Kumamoto Chuo-ku, Kumamoto 860-0808 Japan|
|Access:||Kumamoto City Tram Line “Shiyakusho-mae-eki Station” (1 minute walk)|
|Tel:||(+81) 96-328-2948 (Hinokuni Matsuri Management Committee)|