For a truly surprising event packed with Edo-era charm, head to Kanazawa for the annual Kaga tobi firefighter festival. 

Kanazawa Carries On Edo-Era Kaga Tobi Firefighter Festival

Sometimes, traditions have hidden histories to uncover. Other times, the origins can be surprisingly obvious and yet reveal how a traditional celebration has survived in the modern age. 

This was the case when I found out about a particular festival that takes place every year in Kanazawa. It’s called Kaga Tobi Matsuri.

The festival is essentially a performance of men dressed in Edo-style clothes, showcasing athletic skills which would have been the ABCs for a firefighter in the era of Edo Japan.

The performance is a spectacle to behold. In Kanazawa Castle Park, full-grown men climb 41 six-meter-tall ladders and in unison perform “Hashigo Nobori,” meaning the “ladder acrobatics.” The event is peppered with cries of “EI” “YA” to galvanize both performers and spectators.

(You can read the full article via this link. This article was first published on January 17, 2020, on JAPAN Forward, who aim to reveal the true face of Japan to the English speaking world in areas ranging from politics to sports and pop culture.)

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