Kokura Gion Daiko (Japanese Drum Festival), Fukuoka

“Kokura Gion Daiko” festival is the Rei-taisai (Annual festival) of the Yasaka-jinja Shrine in the Kokura castle. It was registered as intangible cultural property designated by the Prefecture in 1958. It is said that this festival is one of the three great Gion Festival in Japan. The festival having roots in the Gion Festival of Kyoto has the history of 400 years from Edo period. Moreover, it is called “one of the three biggest Gion Festival of Fukuoka prefecture” with Hakata Gion Yamagasa and Tobata Gion Oyamagasa.

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It is held for 3 days in July every year in Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu-shi. Exciting drum musical accompaniment is the feature. An energetic shout and the sound of a forcible drum resound on the outskirts and inside of the Ogura Castle, and a child and an adult get exciting together. Every year, “Beat the drum by all” performed on the final day is spectacular.

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In Kokura Gion Daiko, the contest of a drum can be enjoyed all around which in the town. In the contest of the drum, Each team competes for the batting style of the drum being all uniformly dressed. It has must-see value in splendid drumstick – work.

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Then all “Festival Float of Drum” stops, and 5000 people spread and hit the drum simultaneously in the “Beat the drum by all” which is the climax of the festival.
Whole “Festival Float of Drum” gathers and stops on Komonji-dori street from time at 18:30, and starts about 18:45.
A downtown is wrapped in the tone of Gion Daiko Drum.

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The sound is different at front and back of surfaces of the drum, and Gion Daiko is even different in a style of beating. The most special feature is “double-sided beat” to which two persons strike both sides of the drum.
The tone of a drum is likely to blow away the heat and tiredness of summer.

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Information

Name:Kokura Gion Daiko (Japanese drum Festival)
Address:Jonai 3 Kitakyushu Kokurakita-ku, Fukuoka 803-0813 Japan
Access:JR Kagoshima-honsen Line “Kokura-eki Station” (15 minutes walk)
Tel:(+81) 93-562-3341 (Kokura Gion Daiko Preservation Promotion Association)
Price:Free
Official site:http://kokuragiondaiko.jp/

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