*** HAKATA DONTAKU ***
Hakata Dontaku is one of the famous festivals in Fukuoka. Many people from all over the country come to Fukuoka on May 3rd and 4th to celebrate.
Children, young and old people parade through the street in various costumes, some are playing Japanese traditional instruments such as SHAMISEN, TAIKO, FUE, and others are clapping SHAMOJI which is wooden spoons and used for scoping rice.
The festival originates from the local custom dating back to the Heian period (13th century), called MATSURIBAYASHI which was to praise the feudal lord on the occasion of New Year.
*** HAKATA GION YAMAKASA ***
Gion Yamakasa is known as one of three major festivals in Japan. It started about 760 years ago as a shrine ritual dedicated to Kushida shrine (the grand tutelary shrine of Hakata).
KAZARIYAMA which is the displays of luxurious floats are set up around the town on July 1st. KAKIYAMA is built for races, smaller than KAZARIYAMA but still weigh about one ton apiece and carried by about 30 men. During the festival, men wear Happi even for the work, wedding, and funeral.
OIYAMA is the main and last event for the festival, 7 nagare ( nagare is a borough and the basic organization for the Yamakasa) race the time with carrying KAKIYAMA.
*** SUMO ***
There are 6 grand sumo tournaments each year, 3 tournaments in Tokyo, and one of each in Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka.
Tournament in Fukuoka called Kyushubasho, and it last 15 days in November. Sumo is Japanese traditional sports, and you can see a lot of traditional things during the match.
*** SAGEMON ***
SAGEMON is ornaments for Girl's doll's festival, it is a unique traditional custom in Yanagawa, Fukuoka.
When you have a baby girl, every ladies in the family make small quilt ornaments like "crane", "rabbit", and "treasure pouch" with using small piece of kimono, attached them to the string, and is then with other SAGEMON from the ceiling.
You could see them from mid-February to March in Yanagawa. They make a wish for girl's healthy and happy life by making them by hand. Usually, Mom's family present Hinadoll to baby girl, but in Yanagawa, Mom's family present SAGEMON and Dad's family present Hinadoll.
*** HAKATA OKUNCHI ***
HAKATA OKUNCHI, a traditional autumn festival of Kushida Shrine on the October 23rd and 24th started from about 1200 years ago, and is held for giving thanks to the harvest of autumn.
Children and adults are in traditional ritual costume, SHISHIMAI (lion dance) parade through the street in Hakata area.