“Danjiri” is a traditional float dedicated in a festival held mainly on the west side of Japan. Each area has their own Danjiri with various shapes and ornaments, made by highly-skilled carpenters and sculptors. The way people treat their Danjiri varies from one area to another and Kishiwada is unique in that they pull their Danjiri through narrow streets at full speed. Along with the shouts of “Sorya” “Sorya” and festival music, “Danjiris” come rushing through one after another. These extremely powerful scenes will surely stay in your memory forever.
The privilege to stand atop the Danjiri goes to the person in charge of controlling the direction. This person is called the “Daiku-gata”. The art of directing their Danjiri with dance performance is a sight not to miss. Those who stand under him play musical instruments (including taiko drums, Shino flutes and gongs called “Narimono”). They energize the team pulling the float by playing fast rhythms in places where they run through fast and by beating taiko drums repeatedly when turning and skidding at an intersection. Local people call these movements; “Yari-mawashi”.
At the festival site, a number of “Danjiri” race by you . This is actually a competition, where as each area competes showing how fast and skillfully they maneuver their float. Take a close look at their costumes and you will notice that each area has their own unique designs different from the others. Local people cheer even louder when “Dainjiri” of their area pass through. Why not join and enjoy cheering with them?
People in Kishiwada love their festival and it is said that “they live for the festival”. They go to the festival with all the enthusiasm of life, as if to say, “I live for this day!” During the festival, more than 500,000 tourists visit Kishiwada City where the population is only 200,000. During the Danjiri Matsuri, locals and tourists come together to create an overwhelming air of excitement that cannot be experienced elsewhere.