The Edo Shogunate of Japan closed the country to foreigners. In such circumstances, Nagasaki, which was one of the few contacts with overseas, was a city where its own culture developed. The exotic “Nagasaki-Kunchi Festival” will be famous especially in Nagasaki culture of such history. It is a festival with lots of performances influenced by Portugal, the Netherlands, China etc etc. It is an event that people of around 300,000 visit each year.
The autumn festival (harvest festival) is called “Kunchi” in the northern part of Kyushu. In northern Kyushu, various “Kunchi” are held from October to November every year. Among them, especially famous Kunchi are “Nagasaki-Kunchi”, “Hakata-Okunchi” and “Karatsu-Kunchi”, these are the festivals which are also called “Three Major Kunchi”. In the “Three Major Kunchi” the earliest “Nagasaki Kinki” dedication dance is unique and dynamic performance is attractive. It is designated as an important intangible folk cultural property of the country.
A major feature of Nagasaki-Kunchi is “Odori-cho” (dance of the town). Nagasaki City’s 59 towns are divided into 7 town groups, and every year, one of the town groups alternates and dedicates dances to the shrine as “Odori-cho”. Attractions that make use of the characteristics of each town group are attractive. The performance of Nagasaki-Kunchi can be roughly divided into three. They are “Classical Japanese Dances”, “Hikimono” (pulled-type) such as river boat · Chinese ship · gozabune (a roofed pleasure boat), and “carried-type” such as taiko-yama · dolphin drum · dragon dance.
Once in 7 years, the people of “Odori-cho” will show off the exhibits mixed with foreign cultures such as China and the Netherlands. Among them, “Kokkodesho” is a popular performance in which 36 adults carry taiko-yama (festival float) weighing 1 ton.
Nagasaki-Kunchi Festival is a festival representing Nagasaki, which has been running for 380 years since the Edo period. Why do not you experience the festival unique to Nagasaki that has relationship to foreign cultures that change shape every 7 years.
“Nagasaki-Kunchi” is annual autumn festival of Suwa-jinja Shrine which is Ujigami (a guardian god or spirit of a particular place in the Shinto religion) for Nagasaki. It is considered as beginning that two prostitutes dedicated Yokyoku “(Noh song) short dance” before god of the Suwa-jinja shrine in 1634. Then, it developed into the gorgeous festival over hundreds of years, also taking in an exotic dance. Along with “Hakata-Okunchi”, “Karatsu-Kunchi”, it is counted in one of Japan’s three biggest Kunchi, and is designated also as the country specification significant intangible folk cultural asset.
It is a festival representing Nagasaki performed on a grand scale during 3 days from October 7th to the 9th every year.
It is a festival with the feature which the culture of Kyoto or Sakai united with the unique dedication dance that is strongly influenced by the special feature of the southern barbarian of the Edo period, such as Portugal, the Netherlands, China, and performances and dances are very variegated.
Speaking of Nagasaki-Kunchi, the Jaodori (dance of dragon) has become a byword for the Nagasaki-Kunchi.
Jaodori is a flower of Nagasaki-Kunchi.
The movement in perfect order of male performer is excellent. The peculiar musical accompaniment by long trumpet and big dora (gongs) heaps up a festival mood, and a cheer of the audience spreads to fill the autumn blue sky.
Besides elaborate Japanese dance, it is Oranda-Manzai (comical dance of Netherlands) etc., the fusion of a dance and clothes with an exotic mood, and Japanese dancing is seen. You can thoroughly enjoy the world of Japanese dance which you have not experienced.
Nagasaki is a port town which has developed as a doorway leading to the outside to a foreign country for many years. Nagasaki-Kunchi with 380 years or more of history could be called the festival which expresses very well the feature of Nagasaki which had Dejima which is a domestic only trading port in the Edo period.
|Address:||Kaminishiyamamachi 18-15 Nagasaki, Nagasaki 850-0006 Japan|
|Access:||Nagasaki Denki Kido (Nagasaki Electric Tramway) “Suwa-jinja-mae-eki” Station (5 minutes walk)|
|Tel:||(+81)95-824-0445 (Suwa-jinja Shrine)|
|Price / Charge:||Free|