Owara Kaze-no-Bon, a Festival for Wind in Japan
One of the very rare festivals dedicated to the wind, Owara Kaze-no-Bon is held annually in Etchu-Yatsuo, a town in Toyama Prefecture.
Aug 24 2014 (Apr 16 2019)
Owara Kaze-no-Bon is an annual festival held on the first three days in September. Kaze-no-Bon- is literally translated as “Festival of the Wind” and it could be traced back to more 300 years ago.
The 11 local communities will gather together to pray for God’s protection against strong wind on their harvests. Residents are hoping the strong September’s typhoon winds will blow somewhere else so that they will have bountiful spring crops.PIXTA
Things kicked off with a distinctive dance in which women dressed in colorful cotton yukata with patterns denoting different communities and men in happi coats glided in separate, synchronized groups through the streets of this small hillside town.ajw.asahi.com
The women wore large straw hats, a throwback to earlier times when participants would shield their faces to hide any awkwardness in their dance movements.ajw.asahi.com
They danced to Owara music created with samisen and the dulcet tones of the kokyu traditional Japanese fiddle. This was accompanied by delicate, high-pitched songs.ajw.asahi.com
Although there are many explanations about its origins, it is generally believed that the Bon ritual of paying homage to ancestors merged with a festival praying for a rich harvest.www.jnto.go.jp
The local people parade through their neighborhoods all night long, dancing to music played on stringed instruments, kokyu and shamisen. Only unmarried men and women up to their age of 25 can take part.www3.nhk.or.jp
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.