“Kokura Gion Daiko” (Japanese Drum Festival) is an annual festival in summer held in July every year in Kitakyushu City Kokura Kita Ward. It is the tradition “Kokura Gion Daiko” traditionally transmitted from the Edo period to color the festival. On the festival day, the decorated drums walk through the city center from the castle town of Kokura.
Kokura Gion Festival is a history and traditional festival that originated at the Yasaka Shrine’s anual festival, centered on the castle town of Kokura Castle that continued from the Edo era. Its tradition is still handed down, and a group of drumming acts will be held with Kokura Kita – ku ‘s Kajiya town, Sakai town, Uo – machi, Konnya – machi and other neighborhood associations. It seems that the technique of that drum is handed down along with the ancestral history.
Kokura Gion Daiko has a reputation that the Japanese drum performance is wonderful. At the Japanese drum performance competition, adult teams, children’s teams and general teams wear a matching yukata and compete for drumming. Each team’s brilliant drumstick-work is a must-see. In fact, it is very difficult to tap a drum with a slow rhythm, not just hit hard. Let’s pay attention to gentle and supple body work, drumstick-work, unity with the festival music and so on. Every team aims to win and the team is seriously united. You will feel powerful and deep tradition in the form of their fullest competition.
At the climax of the festival, all festival cars with drums will stop and a total of 5,000 people will beat at the same time. It begins around 18 o’clock. You can not miss the powerful contest where the streets are wrapped in the sound of Gion drum.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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)|