History of Hana Matsuri
Hana Matsuri is an uncommon festival with more than 700 years of tradition passed on to only to the Tenryusuikei by mountain priests and mountain ascetics far back from the Kamakura/Muromachi period (1185-1333).
It is a festival to welcome more than 800 Yorozu no kami (various gods) and to dedicate dances, to pray to be born again and to pray for achievement of wishes and prayers by dancing more than 40 different kinds of dances thought out the night in tunes with drums, flutes and musical accompaniments. This dancing is on of the nation’s greatest folk entertainment with the history since the Kamakura period. There are various dances, dancing called “Hana no Mai”(flower dance) danced by children, dancing young people, “Oni no Mai”(ogre dance) “Yubayashi no Mai”(the hot-water-cleansing ritual) and so forth. Spectators encourage and cheer up the dancers clapping to the beat and chanting“teehohe, tehohe” and also dancing themselves around the dancers. This is the event to celebrate the growth of children and young people and also to get over the most severe time of the year uniting each other’s minds. “Sincere prayer to the Gods” is the true meaning of this festival.
The festival originated from the festival, which was passed on deep in the mountains in Okumikawa region and it is designated as an Important Intangible Folk Culture Asset of Japan.
Tokyo Hana Matsuri
Tokyo “Hana Matsuri” started through culture exchanged between Tokyo Folk Dance Institute, Kita-tama Folk Dance Institute called “Tagasuko” and the “Hana Matsuri” preservation society at local Misono. The first “Tokyo Hana Matsuri” started in 1993.
For details on the Tokyo Hana Matsuri please click here