Traditional Summer Festival and New Summer Festival in Japan

In summer, Natu Matsuri (Summer Festival) is held nationwide in Japan. The summer festival is organized by shrines and temples and is composed of a combination of thanks to the ancestors, dedication of the dead, celebrating harvest and health. The period of this summer festival coincides with summer vacation for children and is crowded with many people.

gion matsuri

New Summer Festival

Japanese people like tradition, but following the tradition, there are also a lot of new cultures produced. Yosakoi Festival to be held nationwide in the summer is a dance competition arranged traditional costumes and music. In the Yosakoi festival, competing for dozens of teams to dance to music. The Yosakoi festival has been held for about 50 years and now it is a famous summer specialty throughout the country.

In addition, Awa Odori, which has a 400-year history, was originally a festival of ancestral consecration of one region. It began to be held in Tokyo about 60 years ago, and it became a famous event at once. Awa Odori also expresses the elegance and strength of dance in groups, similar to Yosakoi Festival, but Awa Odori has a strong tendency to respect the traditional form of costumes and music.

awa odori

These summer festivals are an example that flexibly changes shapes and places of holding so that Japanese can enjoy themselves in accordance with the present era while conforming to tradition. Besides that, Kabuki and Sumo wrestling are also famous as cultures that have greatly changed their appearance by the times.

Traditional summer festival

One of the most historic festivals in Kyoto is the Gion Festival. Floating cars decorated with arts and craft items are displayed in the center of Kyoto city, and on July 17 they march through the city. The origin of this festival goes back to about 1200 years ago, but it is said that it was 700 years ago when it came to the form like this.


Gion festival painted 400 years ago

There are few festivals that continue in the form since 700 years ago, and it is a precious summer festival leaving the old shape. But even at this festival it is the stall that is open during the night during the festival to gather a lot of people. People who came to the festival enjoyed summer nights by buying shaved ice and sausages on a stall. The history of such festivals is less than 100 years.

Japanese love tradition and history. Therefore, consciousness to protect traditional events is very strong. However, few people recognize that the tradition that Japanese people are trying to protect has only history of decades.