Showing posts from July, 2010

Uchiwa Matsuri - Japanese Fan Festival of Kumagaya


Summer time is the time for matsuri -- or festivals -- in Japan. It seems like just about every city, town and village has some form of matsuri going on throughout the summer. Somematsuri are famous and pull in people from all over the world. Others are more local events. But big or small, matsuri can be a lot of fun.

Kumagaya's Uchiwa Matsuri

Just north of Tokyo, the small city of Kumagaya hosts several matsuri throughout the year. The Uchiwa Matsuri held at the end of July seems to be held just for the sake of having a good time. The origin of this festival is rather mundane. In the late 19th century, shops would hand out free fans -- Uchiwa -- to all passerbys and customers around the third weekend of July. Perhaps the sudden generosity of the shop owners so surprised the citizens of Kumagaya that they felt like putting together a festival just to celebrate it.

Uchiwa - Flat FansFans that cool and advertise
A couple holding traditional Uchiwa …

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