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Okunchi Kunchi festival

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Japanese autumn festivals

Although the bulk of the numerous festivals in Japan are held during the spring and summer months, there are some festivals also held autumn.

These vary from prefecture to prefecture, but many do have things in common including the colorful floats and the connections to local shrines.

In this Japanese language blog by a teacher from Kyushu, you'll find a first-hand explanation of one of these autumn festivals.

Read the blog and learn Japanese for free using the video, English translation and vocabulary list.

Okunchi / Kunchi festival






To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 






Okunchi/Kunchi festival

My hometown is Saga Prefecture in Kyushu. From October to November there are some festivals called Kunchi or Okunchi held throughout Kyushu.

Okunchi/Kunchi are autumn festivals held in northern Kyushu. They are festivals dedicated to give gratitude for the harvest.

Most Kunchi / Okunchi involve an imperial visit of the Gods in which portable shrines are carried from a shrine to a place where the sacred palanquin is lodged during a festival. Then there are processions of the feudal lords and children's parades, and then festival cars, Japanese orchestras, dancing and lion dance presentations are added to these; what is added varies greatly from area to area, so even when we may call them the same “Kunchi” there are many different variations.

When I was young, I used to take part in the Okunchi/Kunchi festivals in October, and would dance and carry the portable shrine around the town. This year is the first time I can take part in it with my children so I am so happy. If you ever happen to be taking a trip around northern Kyushu during October or November, try to come and have a look ! It is really fun !.

収穫 (しゅうかく)  harvest, harvesting

奉納 (ほうのう) dedication

御旅所 (おたびしょ) place where the sacred palanquin is lodged during a festival

御神幸 (ごしんこう) imperial visit by god

大名行列 (だいみょうぎょうれつ) feudal lord’s procession/ parade

稚児行列 (ちごぎょうれつ) a child in a festival procession

山車 (だし) float, festival car

囃子 (はやし) Japanese orchestra

獅子舞 (ししまい) lion dance

神輿 (みこし) portable shrine

担ぐ (かつぐ) carry

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  • Yomuzoku Wednesday, 12 October 2016

    It is really an informative post for all Japanese language seekers. Thanks for sharing this week's vocabulary as well.

    Japanese Examples

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