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Miyakonojo City , Miyazaki Related category:
Karakuri Fireworks    



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Shinaga Shrine in Kamizuru-cho, Miyakonojo City has hosted a roggatsudo (summer festival) on July 29 from ancient times, and at the end of the festival karakuri hanabi (trick fireworks) are dedicated to the gods. These fireworks are said to have continued since the Edo period (1603-1867). The karakuri hanabi of Shinaga Shrine is a shikake hanabi (set fireworks), where mixed firework materials are put into a bamboo cylinder. When lit, they shoot along a rope. At present, the karakuri hanabi technique has been inherited by the members of the local preservation association. When the day of the festival approaches, the members start preparing the fireworks and make about 40 of them, all by hand. Since early times, the recipe and manufacturing techniques are verbally handed down in order to keep them secret. The rope for the shooting fireworks is made of hemp and the rope of six millimeters in diameter is stretched in a cobweb shape between trees standing 25 to 45 meters apart. This process is the key and the members take every care in stretching the rope, taking about 6 hours to finish. When the time comes the precinct is packed up with spectators who all cheer at the nostalgic fireworks. Karakuri fireworks are dedicated to the gods, as a prayer for a good harvest, the welfare of the household, good health, long life, and to drive away evils, and is an important event for the people in the area.

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