Japan in October

October 7-9: Nagasaki Kunchi

This festival is held at Suwa Shrine in Nagasaki and has a history going back some 360 years.

The festival is put on by 77 dance groups that were established in the year 1672. There are 11 neighborhoods participating so each one has seven dance groups and they all take turns year-by-year in putting on the festival.

Each group will have its own floats and dances so the festival is never exactly the same any two years in a row.

October 10: Sports Day

This is a national holiday to foster healthy minds and bodies through physical activity. It's another relatively new holiday as it was founded to commemorates the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. It was declared a holiday in 1966.

Various contests and games are held on this day at the various parts and booths are set up to give people physical checks and to get health tips from counselors.

October 22: Kyoto Jidai Matsuri

This festival is held near the Heian Shrine in the eastern part of Kyoto. The festival commemorates the date that Emperor Kanmu moved the nation's capital to Kyoto in 794.

The Heian Shrine itself was built in 1895.

The festival includes various processions based on historical eras and there are thousands of participants. Some of the people represented were historical figures including Sakamoto Ryoma, who was a leader of the Meiji Restoration, Shogun Oda Nobunga and Murasaki Shikiibu, author of the Tale of Genji.

Actual historical artifacts are used, somewhat over 12,000 of them in recent years. The costumes are based on historical research and are made and dyed with the original types of materials.

Midterm Exams

Students undergo another period of midterm exams at this time, being tested in Japanese, math, science, social studies and English.

Main Index
Japan main page
Japanese-American Internment Camps index page
Japan and World War II index page