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Seinaiji-mura , Nagano Related category:
Enthusiasm Passed down the Centuries - 270 Years of History and Tradition: Hand-Made Fireworks of Seinaiji    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 29 minutes
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The origin of the hand-made fireworks of Seinaiji-mura goes back to 1731, when a villager who had gone to peddle local products, leaf tobacco and orokugushi (combs), brought back a secret recipe for firework production from the Mikawa district. The hand-made fireworks were set off in dedication to the shrine in October every year. The manufacturing process of these fireworks is a traditional one which the villagers have continued to use, having obtained the necessary licenses for firework manufacturing and safety measures. They begin by producing charcoal, which is the raw material for the firework. Then powder is created by mixing potassium nitrate and sulfur. They produce many different kinds of fireworks, including such traditional ones as hanagasa, tanabi, amibi, shakuma, tedutsu, budo, and daisangoku, as well as innovative ones, such as fountains and merry-go-rounds. They have created many ingenious fireworks, such as the depiction of a bunch of grapes, by changing the amount and ratio of the powders. They have even gone so far as to rotate or to send flying through the air the frames for the fireworks. Their works are known as unique ones that cannot be found anywhere else in Japan.

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