• Short Summary

    Of all the festivals which dot the Japanese calendar, the Gion Festival of Kyoto is probably the largest and most colourful and was held on July 17, watched by tens of thousands of Japanese and foreign visitors tot the old imperial capital.

  • Description

    Of all the festivals which dot the Japanese calendar, the Gion Festival of Kyoto is probably the largest and most colourful and was held on July 17, watched by tens of thousands of Japanese and foreign visitors tot the old imperial capital.

    The festival originated in 869 A.D., when a procession was staged through the streets of the city by priests of the nearby Yasaka Shrine, in an appeal to the gods to end a plague which had claimed hundreds of lives.

    The procession subsequently became an annual event, and save for one break of 30 years when Kyoto was beset by civil war, the parade with its floats and musicians has been held every year.

    The festival, through its long history, has lost none of its religious significance. The centre-pieces are 29 huge floats, which, from their massive wooden wheels to the tips of their decorated poles, stand fully 100 feet high.

    Aside from Kimonoed musicians and shrine maidens in flowing robes, the floats carry treasured tapestries and carvings.

    It takes a long time for the procession to pass anyone point, as the heavy floats have to be carefully manhandled around tight corners over makeshift tracks of poles while drummers beat a cadence to help the teams as the haul on ropes.

    When the parade is over, the floats are taken back to the Yasaka Shrine to be tended and re-painted before next year's Gion Festival in Kyoto.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7PH2P5OZ5BC4DP1NAJKYS5QPE
    Media URN:
    VLVA7PH2P5OZ5BC4DP1NAJKYS5QPE
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    23/07/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:15:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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