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Held on the first weekend in Oct., the Gifu Nobunaga Matsuri's highlight is a Sunday afternoon parade of people dressed in historical costumes centering on Oda Nobunaga (usually played by a celebrity), considered to be the father of Gifu city.These charming girls are Gifu's tourism ambassadors waiting to join the festival's parade.
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From 12:30 pm–2:20 pm, they parade on the main drag from JR Gifu Station to the foot of Mt. Kinkazan, the location of Gifu Castle.
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Gifu's tourism ambassadors hold the parade banner. About 200 people were in the parade.
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Gifu city is celebrating this year as the 450th anniversary of the city being renamed "Gifu" by Nobunaga after he attacked and captured Inabayama Castle in 1567. The castle was renamed "Gifu Castle."
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Lots of police in the parade promoting traffic safety.
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More police.
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Flags of Gifu's sister cities.
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Flags of Gifu's sister cities.
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One highlight of the festival parade is this matchlock gun battalion. They stopped at the major intersections along the parade route and fired their guns.
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The matchlock gun battalion in formation and ready to fire their guns. 火縄銃鉄砲隊
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"BANG, BANG!!" Those guns are really loud. Even with my earplugs (tissue wads), it shook me and I could feel the shockwaves.
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Local students also dressed in historical costumes. 少年少女時代行列
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Local students also dressed in historical costumes. 少年少女時代行列
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Local students also dressed in historical costumes. 少年少女時代行列
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With tall banners and the surrounding foot soldiers, the parade's main character of Oda Nobunaga was unmistakable.
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This year, Oda Nobunaga was played by actor Hiroshi Fujioka. Nobunaga is one of Japan's most famous historical figures who started the unification of Japan's warring states in the 16th century. Gifu city really plays up Nobunaga as a hero and to
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Oda Nobunaga was played by actor Hiroshi Fujioka, famous as the actor who portrayed "Kamen Rider" in the 1970s TV series.
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Oda Nobunaga was played by actor Hiroshi Fujioka at the Gifu Nobunaga Matsuri in Oct. 2017.Hiroshi Fujioka is famous as the actor who portrayed "Kamen Rider" in the 1970s TV series. He's still famous and beloved in Japan and has had a very good career after Kamen Rider.
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Following Nobunaga were the ladies: His wife Nohime.
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Nobunaga's sister Oichi who married Azai Nagamasa and gave birth to three famous daughters in Shiga Prefecture.Oichi's three Azai daughters: Chacha, Hatsu, and Go. Oichi and her daughters escaped to Gifu Castle after their Odani Castle in Shiga was attacked by Nobunaga.
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Chacha, the oldest Azai sister who at age 19 became 51-year-old Toyotomi Hideyoshi's concubine.
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Hatsu
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Go, the youngest Azai sister, married the second Tokugawa shogun Hidetada and gave birth to Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa shogun. The Azai sisters are perhaps Japan's most famous trio of sisters.
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Go was the youngest Azai sister.
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Saito Dosan who was once Gifu Castle lord. 斎藤道三
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Chiyo, another native of Shiga, was the devoted wife of samurai Yamanouchi Kazutoyo.
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Chiyo was the devoted wife of samurai Yamanouchi Kazutoyo.
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Chiyo was the devoted wife of samurai Yamanouchi Kazutoyo.
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Chiyo was the devoted wife of samurai Yamanouchi Kazutoyo.
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Chiyo was the devoted wife of samurai Yamanouchi Kazutoyo.
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Chiyo was the devoted wife of samurai Yamanouchi Kazutoyo.
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Yamanouchi Kazutoyo
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Yamanouchi Kazutoyo
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Yamanouchi Kazutoyo
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And the parade proceeded to Gifu Castle park.
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Gifu Yanagase shopping arcade.
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Gifu city's main shopping arcade named Yanagase, made famous by enka songs. It's usually like a ghost town, but not on this day. Was bustling for a change.
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Lots of outdoor stalls.
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The festival included a Cosplay Procession from 2 pm to 3 pm. ぎふコスプレパレード
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Taxi with Nobunaga design.
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Gifu city manhole with cormorant design.
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Flea market at a small park. 金公園、金公園噴水前広場
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Gifu Nobunaga Matsuri also had lots of side/street entertainment.
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Gifu University Wind Ensemble perform on a narrow street.
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Gifu University Wind Ensemble perform on a narrow street.
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Awa Odori dance troupe from Nagoya also gave a street performance.
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At JR Gifu Station, some outdoor entertainment in front of Nobunaga's golden statue. JR岐阜駅前信長ゆめ広場
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Statue of Oda Nobunaga at Gifu Station. Personally, I have mixed feelings about revering Nobunaga this much. Yes, he's a major historical figure, but he was also a ruthless warrior who killed a lot of people and caused much mayhem torching temples, etc. Yet he's worshipped like a hero today. A different time, different mindset, and different standard. The dark side of human nature.
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Nobunaga's golden statue at JR Gifu Station.
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Nobunaga's golden statue at JR Gifu Station.
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Stained glass at Gifu Station.
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