• Travel Spots

Nagasaki: ‘Foxes’ impress crowd with acrobatic feats

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Participants wear white fox costumes during a takengei acrobatic performance at Wakamiya Inari Shrine in Nagasaki on Oct. 14.

NAGASAKI — Performers wearing white costumes with fox masks scaled 10-meter-high bamboo ladders in a dynamic acrobatic display on Oct. 14 at an annual festival at Wakamiya Inari Shrine in Nagasaki City.

The performance, called takengei, is done to express hopes for a bountiful harvest and prosperous business, and is said to have a history of more than 200 years. The physical feats, however, have been shelved the past two years because of the pandemic.

On the day, young people performed stunts and acrobatic feats as “foxes,” with the accompaniment of Japanese traditional flutes and drums, under a clear autumn sky.

Spectators showered the performers with resounding applause as the artists performed tricks such as stretching out their bodies, taking a leg or arm off the ladder or hanging upside down as many shouted “yoisho,” meaning “there you go.”