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Hitachiota City , Ibaraki Related category:
The Story of "Machida Hikeshi Gyoretsu" The Small Festival of Nishikanasa Shrine (A Designated Intangible Folklore Cultural Asset of Ibaraki Prefecture)    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 59 minutes
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Machida Hikeshi Gyoretsu (the Procession of Firefighters in Machida) attends to the parade in the small festival of the Nishikanasa Shrine and leads it to the venue. The attendance began in 1745 at the time of the festival. Before that, in 1739, fire broke out at 2 points during the festival and it turned into a chaos. In the aftermath, a doctor in Machida named TOKI Senkaku, who had been impressed by the magnificent procession of firefighters attending to portable shrines during the festival of the Kanda Myojin Shrine in Edo (former Tokyo) on his way back home from training in Nagasaki, advocated the importance of firefighters' joining the parade of festivals and provided instruction, under which firefighters attended in the small festival, as in the festivals of the Kanda Myojin Shrine, in 1745 for the first time. The procession is mainly composed of men and boys aged between 15 and 41, called "Wakashu," who share a variety of roles including standard-bearers and firemen. A total of about 100 firefighters wear various costumes and go marching, moving in a unique way and chanting unique phrases. It's time for them to show masculinity, so to speak.

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