Lively Drumming Signals Start of Furukawa Festival

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Men stand on a float as it is carried at the Furukawa festival in Hida, Gifu Prefecture, on Wednesday evening.

GIFU — Drum beats and high-spirited roars from bare-torsoed men in loincloths reverberated through the streets of Hida in Gifu Prefecture on Wednesday, the first day of the Furukawa festival.

The event is part of the Yama, Hoko, Yatai, Float Festivals in Japan that are inscribed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

The “okoshi-daiko” drumming and the float procession have also received cultural heritage status from the government under its so-called “important intangible folk cultural property” designation.

The oldest written record of the festival appears in documents from the Edo period (1603-1867).