Kokura Gion is one of the major Shinto Gion Festivals in Japan. It takes place on the third week of July every year and dates back to 1617 when a daimyo lord, Tadaoki Hosokawa, built his Gion shrine to wish prosperity to the town in which his castle was built. After the Sekigahara battle during the civil war in the 17th. Century which divided Japan in two camps Hosokawa entered this part of the country to built the castle.

The festival prays for non‑illness and extensive harvest. Traditionally both ends of a pole were carried on the shoulders with the drum hanging in the center. While walking through the neighbourhood the drums were beaten. Later the drums were installed on a float or shrine. The “Drum floats” became a striking aspect of the parade when being carried through several neighbourhoods around the castle. The floats (small shrines) are carried or pushed through the streets followed by decoration floats (samisen), a gong, a whistle and dance. “Drum Gion”is the name of this festival in which also female drummers participate. Outside the station is a bronze statue representing the fame of Kokura as a drummers town.


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