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Japanese Traditional Arts

Hakone Feudal Lord's Procession Festival
Art Category Festival
Name Hakone Feudal Lord's Procession Festival

Hakone Feudal Lord's Procession Festival《Feature》
“Hakone Feudal Lord's Procession Festival” is held annually in Hakone-Yumoto Onsen resort, the home of Hakone Seven hot springs. Feudal Lord's Procession is a traditional procession by a feudal lord and his people, practiced in Edo period, between the 17th and the mid-19th century.

About 170 people march across the former Tokaido (one of the major highways which connected the cities) and the onsen resort, dressed in a reminiscent style of the custom of “Sankin-Kotai”. The parade travels about 6km in distance, yelling “Shita-ni, shita-ni (Heads down, heads down)”, as they proceed. It consists of a variety of members: heralds, foot soldiers, basket palanquin bearers, female servants, page boys, Karo (a chief retainer) and Daimyo, or a feudal lord.

“Sankin-Kotai” is a system in the Edo period in which local feudal lords were required to live in Edo (current Tokyo), accompanying their wives and children every other year. This system was aimed for the central government to maintain their authority over the feudal lords across the country. The size and scale of the procession were determined according to the crop of rice produced by the land each feudal lord ruled. Therefore, the more rice their lands produced, the more cost and wealth had to be spent on the procession. Hakone Feudal Lord's Procession Festival is based on the status of Odawara-han (current Kanagawa prefecture) whose fief was 113,000 koku in rice. (This figure is relatively large in scale compared to other local areas.)

Source: Hakone-Yumoto Tourist Association
Translation: Hitomi Tashima, reviewed by Moe Shoji

City/Town Hakone-Yumoto Onsen
Location Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa prefecture, on 3rd November ("Culture Day", a national holiday in Japan)
Contact Hakone-Yumoto Tourist Association: TEL +81-460-85-7751
Highlight/POI Highlight: “Hakone Feudal Lord's Procession Festival” is one of the Three Hakone Festivals and the main event in Hakone in autumn. We have a lot of visitors from overseas as well as all over the country.
General Participation All healthy individuals are welcome to join “Hokone Feudal Lord's Procession Festival” (Women need to be at the age of 18 or older).

Please note that the participants have to arrive at the venue early in the morning.
Application for participation is usually open from the beginning of August till the end of September.

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