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Ogaki's biggest festival held on the weekend on or before May 15 has 13 ornate floats called "yama." They are paraded along the streets in central Ogaki. The road leading to Hachiman Shrine is lined with food stalls.There are different types of floats. Mostly karakuri doll floats, but also two floats with a stage for traditional Japanese dances by young kids. The floats were inspired by karakuri floats in Aichi Prefecture and kabuki floats in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture.
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Entrance to Ogaki Hachiman Shrine. Highlights include karakuri mechanical doll performances atop the floats and the floats lit up at night with paper lanterns. Held by Hachiman Jinja Shrine.On Dec. 1, 2016 (JST), Ogaki Matsuri Festival was inscribed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as one of 33 "Yama, Hoko, and Yatai float festivals in Japan."
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Flower tower and Hachiman Shrine torii.
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Hachiman Shrine
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Hachiman Shrine 八幡神社
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Hachiman Shrine
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Hachiman Shrine
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Natural spring in Hachiman Shrine.
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The first of eleven floats is called Kagura-yama. 神楽 (本町・中町・新町)
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Also see my YouTube video of karakuri puppets here and of children's dances here.
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Daikoku-yama float 大黒 (魚屋町・竹島町・俵町)
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Ebisu-yama float. 恵比須(船町・伝馬町・岐阜町・宮町)
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Aioi-yama float. This is the newest float, reconstructed in 1996. 相生 (本町)
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Sugawara-yama float. 菅原(新町)
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The karakuri doll is actually writing "Ogaki Matsuri" on a piece of paper.
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Also see my YouTube video of karakuri puppets here.
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Namazu-yama float. 鯰 (魚屋町)
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Namazu means catfish.
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Sakaki-yama float. 榊 (竹島町)
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Sakaki-yama at night in front of Hachiman Shrine.
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Tamanoi-yama float. 玉の井 (船町)
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This float features dancing by children in kimono. The back has a painting of a pine tree.
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Renjishi lion dance.
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Also see my YouTube video of children's dances here.
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The Tamanoi-yama was a crowd pleaser with so many child dancers.
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Shochiku-yama float. 松竹 (伝馬町)
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Top of Shochiku-yama is a statue of Benzaiten.
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Shochiku-yama also features dances by children in kimono.
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Tamanoi-yama is based on Omi-Hakkei (Eight Views of Omi) in Shiga Prefecture).
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The tapestry features the Omi-Hakkei scenes.
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Atago-yama float. 愛宕 (岐阜町)
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The pigeons' head actually move as well.
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After the end of the karakuri performance, they tossed out small bags of beans like setsubun.
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Shojo-yama float. 猩々(宮町)
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On the first day of May 9 called Shigaku (試楽), the eleven floats first performed in front of Hachiman Shrine, then proceeded to Ogaki City Hall where also performed karakuri.
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Lining up to Ogaki City Hall.
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Ogaki City Hall.
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While Ogaki City Hall officials sat comfortably under the shade like nobility, the floats came by one after another to perform katakuri doll stunts. The rest of us sweated under the sun.
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The Eki-dori road in front of Ogaki Station was closed to traffic.
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The Eki-dori road in front of Ogaki Station was closed to traffic.
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The Eki-dori road was lined with food stalls.
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In the late afternoo, the floats were parked near Hachiman Shrine and lanterns were installed on the floats.
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It got darker.
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At 7 pm, the paper lanterns on the floats were lit up.
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A crowd gathered in front of Hachiman Shrine in the evening to watch the night performances of the passing floats.
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In front of Hachiman Shrine, each float rotated and performed karakuri.
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Shochiku-yama
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Tamanoi-yama
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Tamanoi-yama
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Tamanoi-yama finale
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Eki-dori at night
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Parade route on May 10 indicated by the red line. Quite an extensive route.
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On May 10 from 8:30 am to 10 am, all the floats again visit Hachiman Shrine before starting the procession through the city at 10 am.
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The float procession on May 10. Headed by the Kagura-yama float. 巡行
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Atago Shrine
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Atago Shrine officials greet the floats as they pass by during the procession.
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The Atago-yama float at Atago Shrine.
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Aioi-yama crossing the road.
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Sneakers
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The Aioi-yama almost hit a street lamp. It had to back up and adjust its path.
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Passing by a large temple.
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Yanagen Dept. Store
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The floats gather on Eki-dori road.
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The floats make a turn from Eki-dori road to proceed to the shrine.
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To turn the float, they tilt it first.
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Also see my YouTube video of karakuri puppets here and of children's dances here.
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Hanging on during the tilt...
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After the procession, all the float again visited Hachiman Shrine. Later in the evening, they lit up the floats like the night before.
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On the left is the small bag of beans tossed by the Atago-yama float.
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Ogaki Matsuri poster
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