Tsuchizaki Minato Hikiyama Festival: A Float with Comical Touches Parades Through an Akita Community

Guide to Japan Travel Culture

The float (hikiyama) parades held on July 20–21 every year are part of the annual rites performed by the Tsuchizaki Shinmeisha, the main shrine of Tsuchizaki, a seaport community with a long history located in the city of Akita, capital of Akita Prefecture. The July event, popularly known as the Tsuchizaki Minato Hikiyama Festival, has been designated an important intangible national cultural asset, and it is one of the 33 Japanese float festivals that were approved as a set for inclusion in the UNESCO list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage in 2016.

The front side hikiyama is decorated with colorful models of famous warriors from the past. The rear consists of a platform for musicians. And on the top are comical figures and a short satirical poem relating to current events.

(Originally published in Japanese. Created in cooperation with Cable Networks Akita.)

festival Tōhoku Akita