Sanuki Toyohama Chosa Matsuri

Kanonji City, Kagawa


Toyohama Hachiman Jinja, Ichinomiya Jinja, Kanonji City, Kagawa
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Early October


Office of the executive committee of Sanuki Toyohama Chosa Matsuri

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Office of the executive committee of Sanuki Toyohama Chosa Matsuri


This annual festival is held in October at Toyohama Hachiman Shrine in Kan-onji, facing the sea in western Kagawa Prefecture. The 23 drum carriages, attached to 14 m long carriers, are called “Chosa.” At approximately 5 m high, they are decorated with brilliant gold and silver embroidery and weigh 2 tons each. The Chosa parade through the town while players beat Japanese drums. Lit by lanterns, the walks around the shrine with the music of the “Ohayashi” (Japanese orchestra) are very beautiful.

A Chosa is a type of float that came from Kyoto 150 years ago. It is a luxurious and gorgeous Japanese drum carriage decorated with sculptures, as well as gold and silver embroidered duvets and curtains. The Chosa have been handed down in each district and all Chosa will parade in the festival. The drum carriage can be detached so the top and wheels can be carried separately. Using this structure, a powerful “Kaki-kurabe” is performed in a competition as a highlight of the third day of the festival to see which Chosa is carried in the most exciting way.

The main attraction of the festival is not just the Chosa; “Zasen,” “Minoura Shishimai (Lion dance),” and “Funatogyo” are also fantastic spectacles. The “Zasen” moves around as the carriers sing songs to the rhythm of drums and bells. This float was originally dedicated to fishermen and has a unique atmosphere. The “Zasen” is positioned next to the Mikoshi (portable shrine) in a festival. Its history is older than that of the Chosa and there is a high degree of formality. Therefore, the Chosa must give way to Zasen. The “Minoura Shishimai (Lion dance)” has a 170-year tradition. The “Funatogyo” performance shows the Mikoshi of Toyohama Hachimangu being carried on the boat and out to sea to wish for good fishing on the third day. All of these precious artefacts as well as the Chosa preserve the history of Toyohama.

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