All About Japan

5 Cool Events at the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

| Festivals , Nagasaki
5 Cool Events at the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival

Dedicated to Suwa Shrine, the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival began in 1634, and is now held from October 7 to 9 each year. 59 different city districts are divided into seven groups, with one group presenting each year—meaning you can only see the same group once every seven years! However, there are some regular parts of this dance festival to watch for.

1. Kokkodesho

1. Kokkodesho

The most popular performance is the Kokkodesho, which features four children on a mikoshi (portable shrine) as men display a remarkable feat of strength by tossing the kids and mikoshi up toward the sky.

The men who shoulder the mikoshi train all year for the event. While the Kokkodesho is said to have originated from the townsfolk from the Kabashimachi district, in 2016 it will be presented by the Uwamachi region.

The children riding up top have a very important job to do as well—the four kids in the center of the mikoshi play taiko drums, and when they're not being thrown, they're joined by four other children who dance on the supports.

Check out this video to see this awesome performance for yourself!