Nada Fighting Festival is the biggest kenka matsuri in Japan. It is hold on October 14 and 15, when men in loincloth, carrying portable shrines, clash and, sometimes, fight and smash them into each other. The gods, they say, like the rough and tumble spirit of fighting men. And in winter, there's the All-Japan Kite-Flying Festival, held on a Sunday in mid-January, which draws kite lovers from all over to fly homemade kites big and small. For centuries, Japanese children have flown kites to celebrate the New Year.
Once Japanese samurai had made much of allegiance than their lives. And Japanese women had chosen death than lost faith. Today in Japan, some people fear no harm, even when they die in matsuri or festival, because to die in matsuri is to complete their lives at the top of excitement and exultation.
Nada Kenka Matsuri is one of thousands common matsuri in Japan. It is not largest or most famous one even in Japan. But it get participant's spirits up so high that they are in the belief that it is as gorgeous as the carnival of Rio and as heroic as the bull chase of Pamplona.
Seeing it will sway your opinion about Japanese that they are modest, reticent, and precise people.
This annual festival of the Matsubara Hachiman Shrine is better known as Nada-no-Kenka Matsuri'' (Nada Fighting Festival), as sacred palanquins are forced to collide violently with each other. It came to be called by this name, Kenka Matsuri or 'Fighting Festival' because the mikoshi (portable shrines) are jolted against one another when carried on the shoulders of the men in the parade.
It has long been believed that the harder the palanquins collide, the more the Gods are pleased. So the festival sometimes escalates into a fight. Other features are procession of decorated floats (weighing more than 2 tons each) and a ritual dance by dancers with a lion's mask.
The highlight of this festival is Yatai-neri, the parade of "yatai", festival floats, gorgeously decorated with wood carving, gold and silver handiwork and embroidered curtains. The yatai are carried on the shoulders of men and are surrounded by the men holding "shide" (bamboo poles decorated with colorful paper) in their hand. As dusk sets in, illuminations on each of the yatai are lit