About Hana Matsuri
The Hana Matsuri is held on stage called Maido, a 3m radius earth floor with pillars on the four corners with a big iron pot in the middle set with boiling water, Yubuta (lid for hot water) from the ceiling and a paper decoration on all four corners called “Zazechi” are hanged. In this Maido the exorcism and purification ritual to the dikatame no mai (solidifying of the foundation dance), ichi no mai (dance of one), mittsu no mai (the dance of three), yottsu no mai (dance of four), yobayashi (the hot-water-cleansing ritual) and other intensive dances are held through out the night.
The children’s dance preformed at midnight is called the Hana no Mai (dance of the flower), the children dancers wear a hat adorned with flowers made of colored paper with 5 different colors with bells, folding fans, trays, yutou (wooden Japanese style spoon to serving hot liquid) in their hands as they dance. For this day the children start practice from a week before the “Maiminarai”(learning the dance) training.
The Oni (ogres) who appear in the Hana Matsuri are called “Yamami Oni” “Sasaki Oni” “Asa Oni” wearing big masks, straw sandals in red costumes, holding large broadaxes in his hand dancing around the iron pot followed by the follower ogres trampling evil spirits with powerful steps. As the festival proceeds, the spectators shout out “Dance, teehohe, tehohe” to the dancers and in the Maido the God, dancers and spectators became united reaching the climax.
So many of the villagers who live in the cities come home looking forward to festival in anticipation and inside and the outside of the village gets filled with men and women of all ages and the heated festival atmosphere goes on throughout the night.
Hana Matsuri is the “mental support” for the locals
People often imagine a festival with various decorations of flowers in the flower season from the sound of the name Hana Matsuri (flower festival), however tens of various dances are the prime activity of the festival. Villagers who work and live elsewhere come home craving for the Hana Matsuri on the festival day. Villagers attend Mainari (learning the dance) even if they have work the following day because they wish to dance Yuhayashi. Thus they remember children’s faces.
We will introduce the highlights of Hana Matsuri
Hana Matsuri is held between the middle of November and the Beginning of March at eleven different locations (Futto/ Shimoawashiro/ Fukawa/ Misono/ Kobayashi/ Higashisonome/ Tsuki/ Ashigome/ Kouchi/ Nakashitara/ Nakanzeki). On the 13th of November (Culture Day) “Toei Festival” is held to aim to widely introduce the highlights of the Hana Matsuri.