Thursday, 25 September 2014

All the matsuri dedicated to Nobunaga

I'm getting ready for my upcoming trip to Japan, so I was making a few researches about the Japanese town festivals and events dedicated to our Uesama.
I don't think that I'll ever manage to see the most of these, but maybe some lucky guy out there could make a good use of this list ;)

This post is divided into three categories: the matsuri completely dedicated to Nobunaga, those dedicated to a peculiar event (battles, birthday...) and the general historical matsuri when you may happen to find something Nobunaga-related.
As the dates are subject to change, make sure to check the related websites for more precise informations.
Also, as Nobunaga events continue to pop-out, consider this list as still "under construction".

A Nobunaga re-enactor from the GIFU Nobunaga Matsuri of 2012.

Nobunaga Matsuri

The festivals dedicated to Nobunaga, besides the usual stands and stages with samurai performers and idols, are usually centered around a horseback parade and a matchlock exhbition.

[MAY 15 (if Sunday) or FIRST SUN. AFTER May 15] - Nobunaga Birthday Matsuri from 10:30 to 16:30
This festival is dedicated to the birthplace of Nobunaga and its promotion, Shobata in Inazawa city, featuring the ruins of Shobata Castle.
The first part of festival is held at the square in front of Shobata Station (Meitetsu), featuring a marching band and historical talks, and the second part is held at the nearby Shobata Elementary School, with the exhibition of taiko drummers and the local Ootsuke-tai.
webpage: http://www.ooutsuke.org/


[FIRST SUN. AFTER June 2] - AZUCHI Nobunaga Matsuri from 10:00 to 16:00
This festival is held in June to commemorate Nobunaga's death.
The parade starts at Azuchi Station and ends in front of the ruins of Azuchi Castle, where a stage for entertainment and stands are located.
webpage: http://www.azuchi-shiga.com/index.html


[FIRST SAT. and SUN. of OCTOBER] - GIFU Nobunaga Matsuri from 09:00 to 15:00
On Saturday a memorial ceremony to Nobunaga is held at Sofuku-ji; the parade with historical characters happens on Sunday morning.
The various events are held around the Gifu Station area and the main streets (Nagarabashi-dori and Kinkabashi-dori).
The parades and the open-air events are cancelled in case of rain.
webpage: http://www.city.gifu.lg.jp/3571.htm


[SECOND SUN. of OCTOBER] - KIYOSU CASTLE Nobunaga Matsuri from 09:00 to 16:00
The event is held outside and inside the Kiyosu Castle in Kiyosu.
The Nobunaga that takes part to the parade is 16 years old, a tribute to his "otsuke days".
In case of rain, it's postponed to the day after.
webpage: http://kiyosujyo.com/event.html


[SECOND SUN. of NOVEMBER] - Nobunaga Kouyo Matsuri from 09:00 to 15:00
This event celebrates Nobunaga's tour of Fujinomiya after the defeat of the Takeda Clan.
It's a seasonal festival dedicated to gourmet food with various culinary stands, plus a parade and a matchlock gun exhibition.
The area of the festival is Nishiyama Honganji, by the grave of Nobunaga's soldiers who died in the battle.
webpage: http://nobunagamaturi.eshizuoka.jp/


Other Events related to Nobunaga

These events usually provide some historical re-enactment, Zen or Shinto ceremonies, special openings of temples of halls of treasures.
Also, please note that when memorial services are held in Buddhist temples, you're supposed to attend in formal clothes (black). If too embarassing, you can wait 'til the ceremony is over and visit the temple after it.

[EVERY 28th of the MONTH] - MOCHITSUKI EVENT at BANSHOJI from 18:00∼
It's called "migawari mochi" which means "scapegoat mochi". Kato Kiyomasa called it so after a monk of Banshoji temple told him about how a mochi that Nobunaga got from the temple protected him after an attack.
To remember the event and wish good-luck to everyone, the ceremony of "mochi making" is held every 28th of the month in front of Banshoji temple and the treats are distributed gratuitously to the audience... As long as you're lucky enough to get one before they finish!
webpage: http://www.banshoji.or.jp/event/


[MAY 5] - NAGASHINO Battle Banner Matsuri from 09:15 to 16:00
A festival to commemorate the fallen of the Battle of Nagashino featuring a samurai parade and arquebuser demonstrations.
The area of the festival is by Nagashino Castle.
webpage: http://shinshirokankou.com


[THIRD SUN. of MAY] - OKEHAZAMA Historical Battlefield Matsuri (Arimatsu) from 10:00 to 20:00
Event dedicated to the Battle of Okehazama, that saw the armies of Nobunaga and Imagawa Yoshimoto face each other in Okehazama.
Besides the usual parade and the stage events, in the evening there's a suggestive memorial service where lanterns are left on the Oike lake for the peace of the soldiers dead in there.
There also also some historical touristic walks led by voluntaries.
The events of the festival are located in the Okehazama Battlefield Park and the Oike lake and the precints of Choufukuji temple.
webpage: http://okehazama.net/modules/osirase/


[JUNE 2] - SPECIAL OPENING of TERAMACHI AMIDAJI from 09:00 to 16:00
It's possible to enter and walk the temple precints, but the main temple is usually closed.
This is one of the three temples in Kyoto who are said to preserve the ashes of Nobunaga, the other two being Honnoji and Kenkun shrine.
The entrance to the main temple costs 1000 yen. A memorial service is held in there too.
webpage: http://fishaqua.gozaru.jp/kyoto/kamigyo/amidaji/text.htm


[JUNE 2] - SPECIAL OPENING of SOKENJI from ??
Contrary to the Amidaji temple above, this temple located in Nagoya is always closed but for the day of Nobunaga's memorial service.
This temple preserves a famous painting of Nobunaga and other treasures.
webpage: http://www.ohsu.co.jp/ohsu/soukenji.html
NOTE: As the website is not updated, I suggest you to ask for further infos at the Tourist Information Center of Nagoya Station a few days before the date.


[FIRST SAT. and SUN. of JUNE] - OKEHAZAMA Historical Battlefield Matsuri (Toyoake) from 10:00 to 17:00
Saturday is reserved to the memorial services of Nobunaga, Yoshimoto and their armies, Sunday is the day for the parades, shows and promotional events.
The events happen around the whole city: focal points of the celebrations are the Okehazama Battlefield Park, Kutsukage Castle and the precints of Kotokuin temple.
The events would be held even in case of light rain.
webpage: http://www.city.toyoake.lg.jp/sangyoshinko/kankoukyoukai/event-calendar/kankou-kosenjo.html


[FIRST SUN. of JULY] - SHITARAGAHARA Battlefield Festival from 09:00 to 14:30
A festival dedicated to the decisive battle of Nagashino.
The re-enactment is located on the old battleground of Nagashino.
There's a memorial service for the fallen, taiko performances, a parade of boys in yoroi and a matchlock guns demonstration on the original site.
webpage: http://sitarahara.p1.bindsite.jp/index.html


[OCTOBER 19] - FUNAOKA Matsuri from 11:00∼
This matsuri celebrates the day when Nobunaga first entered Kyoto.
It performs a parade of boys dressed as Nobunaga's soldiers, a matchlock performance and some traditional dances.
The event is held in the precints of Kenkun shrine, on Mount Funaoka.
This temple preserves an armour of Nobunaga, a copy of the "Shinchokoki" and other family treasures of the Oda Clan.
webpage: http://www.kyotokk.com/hunaokataisai.html


[SPRING and AUTUMN] SPECIAL OPENINGS of DAITOKUJI SUBTEMPLES from 09:00 to 16:30
Daitoku-ji is a major temple in Kyoto that hosts a great number of sub-temples in his precints; some of them are related to Nobunaga and his family, but they are not regularly open to the public:
• Sokenin (総見院) - Built in 1582 by Hideyoshi as a mortuary temple for Nobunaga; a wooden statue of Nobunaga and one of his tombs is preserved in here.
• Obaiin (黄梅院) - Built in 1562 by Nobunaga as a mortuary temple to his father Nobuhide.
As the periods of opening vary (but it's usually on April/May for the Spring opening and on October/November for the Autumn opening), I suggest you to check the official touristic websites when the time of your visit is approaching.
Also, note that besides the ticket entrance to Daitokuji, there may be an extra ticket to pay to access these temples.
webpage: http://www.kyotojoho.co.jp/index.html


other events

[THIRD SAT. and SUN. of OCTOBER] - NAGOYA Matsuri
This festival is dedicated to the city of Nagoya and the "Three Fathers of the Land", Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu, who were all born within Nagoya borders.
Parades and events pack this two-days event.
In case of rain, the parades would be cancelled.
webpage: http://www.nagoya-festival.jp/


[OCTOBER 22] - JIDAI Matsuri
The "Festival of the Ages" in Kyoto is nothing but a huge parade featuring hundreds of people dressed as important characters of Japanese history, from Ancient to Modern times, to celebrate the span of time when Kyoto was the Capital of Japan.
Of course you can find also Nobunaga in there.
webpage: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3960.html


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