On May 1st, an electric buzz of excitement fills the air of Takaoka as a mixture of local residents, and visitors coming from far and wide, flock to the city to witness the annual Mikurumayama Floats Festival. Featuring elaborate ornamental work crafted by the hands of local craftsmen using the most exquisite artisanal skills within the fields of lacquerwork and metal craft, the Mikurumayama floats are considered to be a beautiful encapsulation of Takaoka and the city’s unique local history and culture.
Excitement reaches tantamount when these seven enormous Mikurumayama floats are pulled around the streets of Takaoka accompanied to the eruption of cheers and applause from the onlooking crowd. The strength and effort required by the young men pulling, lifting, and heaving each of the seven floats around Takaoka is almost incomprehensible; a true reflection of the resilience, determination, and vigor of Takaoka and the local community.
It is said that the history of the Mikurumayama floats began when the emperor at the time presented the first lord of the Kaga Domain (modern-day west part of Toyama and the Kanazawa area in Ishikawa Prefecture) with an ox-drawn court carriage. This same carriage would then be passed onto the townspeople of Takaoka during the time of the construction of Takaoka Castle in 1609. In awe of the beauty of this particular court carriage, the craftsmen of Takaoka decided to use their artisanal skills in the areas of metal work and lacquerwork to create the set of seven Mikurumayama floats we see today.
Aside from the outstanding beauty of the floats featured in the Mikurumayama Festival, it is also the great sense of community spirit which makes this festival deserving of its title as one of the only five items* in Japan registered as both Tangible and Intangible Folk-Cultural Properties, a worthy candidate for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, and an event not to be missed.
*Others include: Kyoto Gion Festival/ Takayama Festival/ Chichibu Festival/ Hitachi Furyumono Parade
- Event date
- 11:00 - 18:00
- Yamacho-suji, Takaoka city
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