Furukawa Drums


Furukawa Drum Festival

***** Location: Gifu, Japan
***** Season: Late spring
***** Category: Observance


Furukawa no okoshi daiko
古川の起し太鼓 (ふるかわのおこしだいこ)
"wake-up drums from Furukawa"

Furukawa "drum" festival
Rousing Drum
Wakening Drum
okoshidaiko, okoshitaiko, okoshi taiko

April 19th and 20th, Hida Furukawa town
Kita-Wakamiya shrine


© PHOTO : mineo 20

“Okoshi Daiko (Wakening Drum)” known in Japan as the most eccentric festival. This festival can be described as a combination of naked and fighting festival. Only this day, this quiet little town becomes tumult with the intense fights among naked men.

Then, on the following day, April 20, the atmosphere changes completely and graceful stalls parade around the town of Furukawa. Harmony of “Movement and Quietness”, this is the Furukawa Festival.

All of a sudden, you hear, “Boom! Thud! Boom!” You can feel the succession of pounding sounds of drums vibrating your body. Simultaneously, the large chorus of “Zenzenoko” celebratory song begins.

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“Zenze no ko” song: 古川ぜんぜの子

Medeta Medeta no Wakamatsu Sama yo
(Let’s celebrate the young pine buds coming out)
Eda mo Sakaeru Ha mo Shigeru
(Its branches and leaves will grow)
Sore Tsuita tote Nanto sezu
(If everything is gone, it’s OK.)
Zenzenoko Sorya Manma no ko
(No money, nothing to eat)

They wear white headband, white “tabi (Japanese socks)” and stomach band made from bleached cotton. Hida in mid April is still chilly and blows cold wind at night, but it has no effect to their body heated with sake and high spirits. It is their proudest moment at the year of "Furukawa Yancha (Adventure)."

“Parade of Festival Floats” April 20
nine stalls that Furukawa people are proud of are lined up.

People in Furukawa often say, “Don’t say you saw the Furukawa Festival just by seeing the wakening drum.” Certainly, you cannot say you’ve seen the Furukawa Festival without experiencing the glorious stalls, Honraku Festival 本楽祭 (and “Mikoshi (portable shrine)” parade.

Hiding the remaining pain after the intense battle from previous night, the young men of Furukawa parade around the town pull these “Movable Youmei-Mon (gate)”.

The stall made by “Takumi (the Master)” of Hida from his heart and soul represents the traditional beauty and craft beauty, while magnificence and glorious, and profoundness and melancholy fuse at just right level.

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At the night of Honraku Festival, the gloriously stalls decorated with gorgeous lanterns parade within the town showing the fantasy world.

source : www.city.hida.gifu.jp

There is a museum with the drums on display in Furukawa.

. Reference

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Furukawa drums -
rhythms from the heart
of old Japan

Nakayama Ishino

Related words

***** . Furukawa Matsuri 古川祭(ふるかわまつり)
Naked Festivals of Japan

***** . Big Drums of Japan

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anonymous said...

awesome, awesome, awesome!

Gabi Greve said...

Sake 酒 for rituals and festivals