The autumn festival of Suzu Hachimangu Shrine in Shôin-machi, Suzu City is famous for its young “Yakko-buri” dancers dressed in wild costumes.
On the evening of the first day of the festival, enchanting kiriko, each district’s pride and joy, line up and parade around the town almost until dawn. The sound of shinobue (Japanese transverse flute) and drums accompanies the parade. The nailed-head Hira-daiko drum hung from the kiriko is beaten vigorously. Youth wearing bells carry the swinging kiriko around with energetic yelling.
The “Yakko-buri” dancing starts in the afternoon of the second day of the festival. Youth wearing costumes called dotera and ceremonial aprons hold shanga spears with feather decorations. They parade through every part of the town, while yelling in such as way that it sounds like they are singing a woodcutters’ song slowly. The “Yakko” boys perform with their arms open wide horizontally; the parade looks like a procession of the feudal era, and the orderly Shôin-style street adds to the effect.
On the main Ômachi street, the performance of tossing the shanga to a person on the other side of the road is really impressive. At a given signal, people pair up and face each other. With a call, they toss the shanga high up towards the other side, and the spears follow a parabolic trajectory to their partners. The spectators shout for joy at the sight of this stylish and gallant performance.
At night, when the procession comes back to the shrine, the Hachiman-daiko drum performance is dedicated to the deity of the shrine. The kiriko that have assembled at the shrine go back to their respective districts, dancing boisterously.
●Gorgeous kiriko parading all night long.
●Unique parade with swinging kiriko.
●Great “Yakko-buri” performance by young men dressed in flashy costumes.
Day: September 14th and 15th
Location: Shôin-machi, Suzu City
Inquiries: Suzu City Tourism Promotion Section (Tel: 0768-82-7776)