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November 25, 2016

Celebrate Fukagawa Matsuri with SushiSushi

By Stuart Turner

We love a good festival at Sushi Sushi, and no one does festivals quite like the Japanese. Japan is a country that seems to have a festival for everything, and with a culture that contains so many religions and regions there's bound to be something to get involved with! This week, people in Japan are celebrating Fukagawa Matsuri - which could be simply described as Japan's biggest water fight! However, it's a little more beautiful and sophisticated than we elude. 

The festival is held annually around mid-august, at Tokyo's Tomioka Hachiman Shrine, one of Japan's greatest Shinto shrines established in 1627. The festival is almost as old as the shrine, and may have been celebrated as early as 1642, and it is one of three great Edo festivals along with Sanno Matsuri and Kanda Matsuri. 

So What Happens at Fukagawa Matsuri?

A gathering of 54 different Mikoshi teams, each comprised of dancers, a float and musicians parade down the streets of the Koto district in Tokyo; the floats represent the gods and it is believed the gods love a good summer soaking! That's why the floats, musicians and dancers are all showered in water as they parade! 

But don't worry, with Japan's extremely humid summer months the people involved in the parade are actually very grateful for the water, as the shrine/floats are extremely heavy - it's hot and heavy work carrying a god on your back!

And it's not just a matter of carrying the Mikoshi - teams often throw the Mikoshi floats in the air and catch them as a show of strength. Believe it or not, they can weigh as much as 2 and a half tonnes!

The festival will be held this weekend as it is traditionally every year on the 3rd weekend of August, but this year is extra special, as every third year hosts a super-sized festival!

Watch this video and see what you think!

 

And what do you eat during Fukagawa Matsuri? Something cooling of course! Why not make your own shaved ice dessert like the Japanese do and make a syrup from cherry or Matcha! We also recommend enjoying lots of Japanese candy and sweets to keep your energy levels high!

This weekend, why not make a float with the kids using craft paper and then have a water fight, we promise it won't weigh 2.5 tonnes!


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