Yamaga Toro Matsuri

Yamaga city, Kumamoto


Yamaga, Yamaga city, Kumamoto
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15th and 16th of August


The executive committee of Yamaga Toro Matsuri

Related Web Site

Yamaga Toro Matsuri: Yamaga Onsen Tourism Association


According to the origin legend, when the 12th emperor of Japan "Keiko" came to Yamaga area, it was very foggy, so villagers escorted him with torches. Later villagers came to dedicate torches to the temporal palace where the emperor had stayed. Since Muromachi period (14 to 16th century A.D.) "Yamaga Toro" has been offered instead of torches.

"Yamaga Toro" is a traditional craft which is made only of paper from local "Kozo (paper mulberry)" and starch, and no the other wood or metal clasp were used.

"Agari Toro", dedication of lanterns to the Omiya shrine, is one of the must-see events. More than 20 lanterns go through "Torii" (a gate of a Shinto shrine) and are delivered to the worship hall of the shrine. Then lanterns are purified, lit and lined up. With all lanterns lit, the atmosphere of the precincts takes us into a world of delicate beauty.

The highlight of the festival is "Sen-nin Toro Odori (A thousand-lantern-dance)", literally a thousand of ladies golden or silver lanterns on their head dance slowly to the tune of "Yoheho Bushi", a folk song of Meiji era. Subtle light of lanterns swaying on the head of ladies dancing in circles offers visitors an elegant and fantastic experience.