Belly Button Festival (Hokkai Heso Matsuri) By WillPowers Crying Sumo Festival (Naki Sumo Matsuri) Cursing Festival (Akutai Matsuri) EVENT Fitness Japanese festival (matsuri) Nabe Kanmuri Festival Paantu Festival Sanja Festival Shukatsu Festival Silent Bon Festival (Muon Bon Odori) Solo Sumo Festival (Hitori Sumo Matsuri) VARIOUS AREAS Wakayama Warai Festival

10 Wonderfully Weird Japanese Festivals to Look Forward in 2019

10 Wonderfully Weird Japanese Festivals to Look Forward in 2019

As a result of regular festivals are overrated; as a result of life is just too brief to be doing the identical previous stuff. Fortuitously, Japan’s creative and distinctive tradition merely is aware of no bounds! Japanese individuals discover causes to have fun the issues which are often taken without any consideration in Western societies with festivals, or extra generally referred to as “matsuri.” Since hanami season is over in most areas of Japan, right here’s a rundown of a few of the coolest and most original festivals you could look ahead to for the remainder of 2018!

1. Crying Sumo Pageant (Naki Sumo Matsuri)

台東くん!4月29日(土)に浅草寺本堂裏の暫像前で「泣き相撲」が行われるパゴッ!力士に抱かれた赤ちゃんの泣き声の大きさを競って健康を願うんだパゴッ!大きな力士に負けない赤ちゃんの迫力ある泣き声に期待パゴッ!?#文化 #観光 #浅草

— 台東くん (@taito_kun) April 26, 2017

When: April 27, 2019 10:00 AM — 5:00 PM
※Word that the occasion date is estimated and topic to change. This web page might be up to date as soon as the organizers affirm the scheduling.
The place: Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa, Tokyo (additionally held in different areas)

No, they don’t seem to be making infants battle sumo type (a minimum of not actually); the infants struggle by crying! The child that cries the quickest, the loudest, and the longest wins! However why do the troublesome ones win?

This 400-year-old custom was impressed by the phrase “naku ko wa sodatsu,” which suggests “crying babies grow.” It’s believed that a child who cries rather a lot will develop up wholesome and completely satisfied. Some additionally consider that a loud cry from a child brings prosperity and scares away dangerous spirits.

The Crying Sumo contest consists of two sumo wrestlers dealing with one another in a sumo wrestling ring, every holding up a less-than-a-year-old child, and doing their utmost greatest to make their assigned child cry. They make loud noises, put on scary masks, and make bizarre faces to coax the child to cry. The competitors is judged by a sumo referee and has a registration charge of kind of 15,00zero yen (amulet and small present included), which exhibits that Japanese individuals take this occasion significantly.

Asakusa’s Crying Sumo Pageant Web site *Automated translation obtainable

2. Nabe Kanmuri Pageant

When: Might three, 2019 (Might three yearly)
The place: Chikuma Shrine, Maibara, Shiga

This “pot-wearing” pageant held each third of Might by the Chikuma Shrine in Shiga Prefecture is a procession alongside the shore of Lake Biwa. It options Eight-year-old women in purple and inexperienced Heian clothes, sporting a “nabe kanmuri” or paper mâché pot helmets. This pageant symbolizes the townsfolk’s providing of meals (therefore the pot) to the gods in change for luck.

There’s additionally a well-liked perception that the pot is a logo of a younger lady’s purity. In accordance to legend, it was a standard apply for ladies way back to worship on the shrine sporting the identical variety of pots on their heads because the variety of males they’ve had relations with (good luck to the gamers!). A line from one of many poems in The Tales of Ise from the Heian interval (794 to 1185) clearly references it: “I wish the festival of Chikuma in Omi would arrive soon, so I could see the number of pots on a heartless lady’s head.” Due to this, the Nabe Kanmuri Pageant is taken into account to be one of many oldest festivals in Japan and a Maibara Metropolis Intangible People Cultural Asset.

Nabe Kanmuri Pageant Web site *Japanese solely

three. Asakusa Sanja Pageant

When: Might 17 to 19, 2019
The place: Asakusa, Tokyo

Held in the historic suburb of Asakusa, this occasion, which honors the three founders of the Senso-ji Temple, is among the largest and wildest festivals in Tokyo. It options one of many largest mikoshi (moveable shrine) parades (kind of 100) in the nation and performances by geishas, craftsmen, actors, and artists.

What makes this pageant in contrast to others is the participation of tattooed yakuza (mafia) members who annually brazenly do a uncommon present of power and being one with the group by disrobing and displaying their full-body tattoos to participate in the pageant processions.

Asakusa Sanja Pageant Web site

four. Solo Sumo Pageant (Hitori Sumo Matsuri)

When: June 18, 2019 (Might 5 on the previous lunar calendar)
The place: Oyamazumi Shrine, Omishima, Ehime

Yearly on the fifth of Might of the previous lunar calendar at Oyamazumi Shrine on the island of Omishima, an epic battle ensues with the destiny of the yr’s harvest at stake. Watch a lone sumo wrestler persevere in a fierce battle with air… Or the presumed deity of the rice plant. It’s believed that if the deity triumphs, the harvest can be bountiful that yr. Fortunately yearly, the deity wins with 2 wins, 1 loss.

Oyamazumi Shrine Web site

5. Stomach Button Pageant (Hokkai Heso Matsuri)

When: July 28 to 29, 2019
The place: Furano, Hokkaido

A stomach, stomach humorous pageant!

Taking the thought of being the middle and stomach button of Hokkaido, Furano Metropolis has created a singular pageant in 1969 that turns the stomach button (“heso” in Japanese) into hilarious abdomen artwork. Utilizing paint, particular costumes, and props, dancers flip their chests and stomachs into faces with the stomach button because the mouth. They then proceed to compete by way of their energetic stomach dancing, sufficient to give the stomach dancers in the Center East a run for his or her cash.

Stomach Button Pageant Web site

6. Silent Bon Pageant (Muon Bon Odori)



— sakamobi (@sakamobi) August 16, 2015

When: early August
The place: Otamachi, Tokai, Aichi

From the image, this may increasingly seem like a daily pageant; on the market, although, it appears like its filled with loonies dancing with no music. What’s going on?! It’s a silent pageant and each single one among its attendees is definitely in a smashing celebration on their very own telephones.

The Bon Pageant first turned silent in 2009 because of complaints from some crabby locals, who attributed their not having the ability to sleep to the pageant sounds. So city officers had to get artistic and made the pageant a silent one.

Now, individuals younger and previous dance collectively to conventional Japanese music being transmitted by FM transmitters to the wi-fi earphones which are distributed to the members.

If you end up in Aichi round August, be a part of in the loony dancing!

Tokai Metropolis Sightseeing Web site

7. Shukatsu Pageant

“Shukatsu Festa – Japan’s Try-Before-You-Die Funeral Festival”

— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) August 30, 2014

When: September or December
The place: Ota Metropolis Industrial Plaza PiO, Tokyo (additionally held in different areas)

Whereas demise is a subject that most individuals keep away from, Tokyo’s Shukatsu Pageant reminds individuals of its unpredictability and truly teaches them how to correctly put together for it.

Stemming from the thought of “Kazoku ni meiwaku kaketakunaindesu,” which roughly interprets to “I don’t want to give my family inconvenience,” this pageant is geared in the direction of individuals who need to determine and plan on a variety of issues whereas they’re nonetheless alive. Through the two-day pageant, members can pay attention to Buddhist classes and lectures on psychological preparation, lay down on coffins, study what to do with their belongings, and write down their final will and directions to households and pals. Additionally they get to pattern make-up merchandise and hair choices from distributors. Oh, there’s nail artwork, too!


Eight. Paantu Pageant

When: early October
The place: Miyakojima, Okinawa

Paantu is a centuries-old pageant that’s celebrated on the island of Miyakojima, Okinawa 3 times a yr, with the spotlight in October or November, to cleanse the island and keep off dangerous luck. Males dressed as “paantu” – evil spirits coated from head to toe with mud and foliage – run across the island chasing youngsters and adults alike and throwing mud at them. It’s stated that these touched by a paantu may have luck for the approaching yr.

It doesn’t matter who you’re, whether or not you’re an area or a vacationer, if your home is model new, or your automotive has simply been washed – all the things will get coated in mud.

Miyakojima Metropolis Web site *Japanese solely

9. Laughing Pageant (Warai Matsuri/Nyu Matsuri)


— kamu (@kamu1192) October 18, 2015

When: October 13, 2019 (the Sunday earlier than Well being and Sports activities Day yearly)
The place: Nyu Shrine, Hidakagawa, Wakayama

The Laughing Pageant, also called Warai or Nyu Pageant, hosted yearly by Nyu Shrine is a Prefectural Cultural Occasion with over 200 years of historical past. It’s a pageant celebrated to deliver good luck via laughter and good cheer.

Legend has it that the native deity Niutsuhime-no-mikoto arrived late for a gathering attended by deities everywhere in the land. The opposite deities laughed at her; embarrassed, she locked herself in Nyu Shrine grieving. Wanting to cheer her up, the villagers gathered outdoors the shrine and laughed all collectively till the goddess got here out. Their laughter restored the enjoyment of the deity and that is how the pageant got here to be.

Somebody (often the chief of the pageant) dressed up as a clown leads the mikoshi, the dancers, and the opposite members to the shrine; all shouting “warae, warae” (snort, snicker) alongside the best way. As soon as they arrive on the shrine, all of them burst into laughter in entrance of the altar.

Laughing Pageant Web site

10. Cursing Pageant (Akutai Matsuri)


— にゃんとこ (@nyantokonyan) December 30, 2016

When: final week of December to January in different areas
The place: Saishoji Temple, Ashikaga, Tochigi (additionally held in different areas resembling Atago Shrine in Ibaraki)

As soon as yearly, guests to some temples and shrines round Japan are inspired to shelve their deference for an evening of purgative cursing. On the Cursing Pageant, also called the Pageant of Abusive Language or the Pageant of Rowdiness, lots of of worshipers make the trek up the mountain temple for nearly an hour, shouting insults on the 13 clergymen dressed up because the legendary red-faced goblin referred to as “tengu,” and making an attempt to steal their choices, that are stated to deliver good luck.

The pageant started over two centuries in the past, in the course of the Edo interval, as a means of letting overworked manufacturing unit staff blow off steam.

Ashikaga’s Cursing Pageant Web site *Japanese solely

For those who’re an adventurous soul who’s on the lookout for one thing distinctive, go forward, fly to Japan and participate in a few of these festivals. They’re positive to offer you an expertise you’ll always remember. If none of them occur throughout your journey, look out for others – there’s acquired to be at the least one occurring close by!

Associated articles
・Prime 100 Issues to Do in Asakusa, Tokyo’s Oldest Conventional District in 2018!
・26 Motels in Akasaka for a Snug and Enjoyable Keep in Tokyo in 2018!
・100 Issues to Do in Okinawa, the Seashore Island Paradise of Japan, in 2018
・12 Inns on Okinawa, Miyako, Ishigaki, and Iriomote Islands for a Good Keep in 2018

var fbds = doc.createElement(‘script’);
fbds.async = true;
fbds.src = “”;
var s = doc.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s);
_fbq.loaded = true;

_fbq.push([‘addPixelId’, ‘1506564356284649’]);
window._fbq = window._fbq || [];
window._fbq.push([‘track’, ‘PixelInitialized’, ]);
var fbds = doc.createElement(‘script’);
fbds.async = true;
fbds.src = “”;
var s = doc.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s);
_fbq.loaded = true;

window._fbq = window._fbq || [];
window._fbq.push([‘track’, ‘6025566316801’, ‘value’:’0.00′,’currency’:’JPY’]);